Indian Mujahideen terrorist Salman, an accused in the Delhi serial blasts case who was trained in handling weapons and explosives in Pakistan, has been arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad from Siddharth Nagar district, the police said in Lucknow on Saturday.
"Salman alias Chottu, an active member of Indian Mujahideen who was wanted by the Delhi police in the serial blasts case, was arrested from Badhni area along the Indo-Nepal border on Friday evening," said Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Brij Lal.
The 21-year-old, who hails from Sanjarpur in Azamgarh, was involved in planning and carrying out several blasts in UP, Gujarat, Delhi and Rajasthan, the police said, adding that he carried a reward of Rs one lakh on his head.
"The ATS on Friday received a tip off that Salman would reach Badhni railway station. A trap was laid for him and he was finally arrested," Brij Lal said.
Salman had enrolled in the BCA course at the Lucknow campus of a private university in 2008, but completed only first year, the ADG said. Salman told the sleuths that after his name cropped up in connection with serial blasts in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi in 2008, he went underground and was in hiding at different places.
"Last year, he moved his base to Nepal, where he got a passport issued under a fake name in June 2009," he said. With the help of the passport, which was issued in the name of Mohammad Fahad Ansari, the IM operative traveled to Pakistan and other countries.
"Salman went to Pakistan in December last year and returned to Nepal in January. He received training in handling weapons and explosives during his stay in Pakistan," Brij Lal said.
During interrogation, Salman admitted that he was an active member of the IM and was in regular touch with other members of the organisation. He also admitted his involvement in several blasts in UP, Gujarat, Delhi and Rajasthan, the ADG claimed that Salman was allegedly involved in the Gorakhpur serial blasts in 2007 and the Varanasi court blast in the same year.
Brij Lal said that the Delhi police has been informed about his arrest.
"With Salman's arrest, the UP police has so far arrested five members of the IM from different parts of the state," he said.