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IM terrorist who escaped during Batla House encounter arrested

Last updated on: February 14, 2018 23:21 IST

He was a member of Azamgarh (Sanjarmur) module of the IM and was based in Nepal where he was teaching at a school.

An alleged Indian Mujahideen terrorist, who was linked to serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi and had escaped during the Batla House encounter, was arrested from the Indo-Nepal Border, police said.

A team of the Delhi Police's Special Cell arrested Ariz Khan, 32, fron Banwasa on Indo-Nepal border yesterday evening, said P S Kushwah, DCP (Special Cell).

"Khan was involved in reviving the IM and SIMI in the country after the arrest of its big leaders. He was absconding since a decade and a reward of Rs 15 lakh had been announced for his arrest," Kushwah said.

 

He was a member of Azamgarh (Sanjarmur) module of the IM and was based in Nepal where he was teaching at a school.

He was married to a Nepali Hindu woman, who later converted to Islam, and had managed to get citizenship of Nepal through fake documents, police said.

The marriage happened four years ago, the officer said, adding that she was unaware of his involvements in terror activities.

"His wife did not know about his involvement with terror blasts and his work as an Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist. He had told her that there was a minor problem and he will deal with it," a senior Delhi Police special cell officer said.

Khan was born in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh and studied there at different schools.

Initially, he and his elder brother Shariq Khan stayed with their uncle Dr Fakhre Alam and started studying at the Shibly National Nursery School from where he shifted to another school, the officer said.

He said that while living as a student in various localities in Azamgarh, Khan came in touch with radicals.

His friend Atif Ameen introduced him to the Tameer-E-Millat magazine, Jehadi audio cassettes of Maulana Masood Azhar, Islamic Tarane and videos of Palestine War, the officer said.

From April 2004 to May 2005, he stayed at his maternal uncle's house in Lajpat Nagar, Delhi.

He took admission in BTech (Information Technology) at the SD College, Muzaffarnagar, where his elder brother was also studying, he said.

He however, failed in the second year of the course and dropped out.

After escaping from the Batla House encounter , he roamed around seeking shelter in Uttar Pradesh, Rajashtan and Maharashtra and most of his time was spent in buses and trains, the special cell officer said.

Later, he came in touch with a Nepali resident Nizam and with his help crossed the Indo-Nepal border from Bihar into the Himalayan country, he said.

He reached Birat Nagar and managed to procure a Nepali citizenship and passport.

He had stayed in Palpa, Kapilavastu and Gorkha area there. During his stay in Nepal, he initially ran a restaurant and later on started teaching in different schools, the officer said.

His associate, Tauqueer, was arrested earlier by the Delhi Police in January this year.

Khan was wanted by the Delhi Police in connection with serial blasts in September 2008 in the national capital in which about 30 people were killed and over 100 injured.

He was also wanted in the Batla House encounter in the same year in which Delhi Police Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was killed.

"Khan was present along with other terrorists in Batla House and had managed to escape along with an accomplice during the encounter," the officer said.

He was an expert bomb-maker and a core member of Azamgarh module of the IM, He was involved in 'conspiring and planning' Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad bomb blasts in 2008 carried out by the IM, he said.

He was linked with deadly terror strikes in which about 165 people were killed and over 535 were injured. A Red Corner notice was also issued by the Interpol against him.

In November 2007, three Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists were thrashed at the Lucknow sessions courts. So in order to teach a lesson to lawyers in Uttar Pradesh, blasts were planned at Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow courts.

On November 23, 2007, Khan along with his IM associates planted improvised explosive devices at the courts. They also sent an e-mail to news channels five minutes before the blasts to claim responsibility for them, he said.

Khan played a 'pivotal role' in Delhi serial blasts of September, 2008. His associates Mohammad, Saif and Khalid alias Kodi brought the explosive from Udupi (Karnataka) and he along with Atif Ameen, a friend from school days, received the explosives in Delhi, the officer said.

Also, Khan along with Bada Sajid bought materials for the explosion from various markets of Delhi.

The group conducted recce of targets and on September 13, 2008 along with Atif Ameen Khan planted improvised explosive devices at M-Block Market, Greater Kailash.

Thirty people were killed and 100 were injured in the serial blasts at Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, GK, the officer said.

He remained in Nepal till 2014 and during this period he came in touch with Riyaz Bhatkal who motivated him to come to Dammam, Saudi Arabia for arranging money to revive the IM in India, he said.

In September 2014, he went to Saudi Arabia where he met many IM and Students Islamic Movement of India sympathisers.

After returning from Saudi Arabia, he started visiting India clandestinely to revive the IM.

Through his established contacts, he procured logistics for his visits to India. He was scheduled to meet a contact in UP when he was caught, added the officer.

IMAGE: Ariz Khan alias Junaid, one of the most wanted Indian Mujahideen terrorists, being taken to a court by Delhi Police Special Cell after his arrest, in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photograph: Manvender Vashist/PTI Photo

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