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IM arrests: The Karnataka connection

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | September 24, 2008 19:11 IST

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The Mumbai police claimed it had achieved a major breakthrough in arresting five persons including the co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen [Images] for their role in the Ahmedabad blasts. The police also claimed they recovered arms which included guns and detonators.

The Mumbai police, like the Delhi [Images] police earlier, say that the arms and ammunition were transported from Karnataka. The Karnataka link to the serial blasts in both the Ahmedabad [Images] and New Delhi blasts is clear, according to investigators. While the statements of Riazuddin Nasir make it clear that the bombs were made in Hubli, Karnataka, investigators are probing the transport route for the ammunition.

On Sunday, Karnataka Home Minister Dr V S Acharya said that they had specific information that arms and ammunition is being transported in a train from Kerala [Images]. Following this the state was put on a red alert.

After the terrorists accomplished Operation BAD (Bengaluru [Images], Ahmedabad and Delhi), investigators were probing the manufacture of the bombs and the transportation of arms and ammunition into the country.

Kamruddin Nagori, brother of SIMI [Images] chief Safdar Nagori, during his narco analysis test and interrogation explained the route used to smuggle arms and ammunition into the country in detail. He said the main route is through Rajasthan. He said that they had been procuring arms and ammunition from across the border. The arms reached Rajasthan on camel back. Once the consignment reached India, it was stored in Jaipur [Images]. He  claimed they had rented out a place in Jaipur to store arms and ammunition which also included material to make bombs such as detonators. The arms and ammunition was distributed to various places according to the requirements, Nagori said.

SIMI however realised that it was unsafe to store arms in one place for a long time and hence began to move the consignment into safer states such as Karnataka and Kerala. In Karnataka strategic points such as Hubli and Suratkal (near Mangalorea) were chosen to store weapons. Investigating officers in Karnataka told rediff.com that for the blasts at Ahmedabad and Delhi, arms were supplied from Karnataka. They also suspect that some of the ammunition could have been brought in from Kerala prior to the blasts.

The Gujarat police now has in its custody Riazuddin Nasir who had stated in his interrogation in Karnataka that he along with other SIMI operatives had made the bombs in Hubli. The Gujarat police are now trying to find how and when the bombs were smuggled out of Hubli.






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