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IM operative spills beans on US cultural centre attack

November 11, 2008 17:05 IST

Kolkata police interrogated alleged Indian Mujahideen [Images] founder Sadik Sheikh, after his name cropped up during the investigation of January 2002 shooting case at the US cultural centre there, senior police officials said on Tuesday.

"Kolkata police was in Ahmedabad [Images] to interrogate a key Indian Mujahideen operative Sadik Sheikh, who was brought in from Mumbai. They had come after it was revealed that Sadik was involved in the January 2002 shooting at the US cultural centre in Kolkata," joint commissioner of police, crime branch, Ashish Bhatia said.

Five policemen were killed in the morning attack on January 22, 2002, in which four persons fired at the guards outside the American Cultural Centre with automatic rifles.

"The Kolkata police has interrogated Sadik and recorded his statements. Sadik has given name of others who were involved in the shooting at the US cultural centre in Kolkata," Bhatia added.

Sadik has admitted during interrogation that he had fired on the guards from an AK-47 rifle while riding pillion on a motorcycle, sources in the crime branch said.

The motorcycle was driven by his accomplice Mohammed Zahid, who was later killed in an encounter in 2002 in Jharkhand, they said.

During interrogation Sadik said that Nasir, involved in the attack on the American Centre, was keeping a watch in his four-wheeler, along with Faim, who is still absconding, sources said.

Sadik further said that Nasir was later arrested, but Faim managed to escape to Bangladesh and later went to Pakistan. Both Nasir and Faim are natives of Kolkata, crime branch sources added.

Seven persons, including gangster Aftab Ansari, extradited from Dubai, were convicted in the case.

Sadik was arrested by the Mumbai police on September 24 for his suspected role in carrying out recent serial blasts in New Delhi [Images], Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

The city crime branch secured his custody from the Mumbai police earlier this month to interrogate him in connection with the July 26 serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and planting of bombs in Surat [Images] city.

According to Mumbai police, Sadik has received arms and explosives training in Pakistan on two occasions and is also alleged to have masterminded blasts in the country since 2006 along with Riyaz Bhatkal, prime wanted accused in the recent serial blasts.

Sadik further told that Nasir was later arrested, but Faim managed to escape to Bangladesh and later went to Pakistan. Both Nasir and Faim are natives of Kolkata, crime branch sources added.

Seven persons, including gangster Aftab Ansari, extradited from Dubai, were convicted in the case.




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