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July 17, 2000
AP police arrest more bomb blast suspects
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
The Andhra Pradesh police have arrested four persons in connection with the bomb blasts and planting of improvised explosive devices at various places of worship in the state, including four churches, a Christian congregation, a temple and a mosque, in the last two months. In all, 11 persons have been identified for their role in these incidents. A manhunt is on to nab the remaining seven persons.
Announcing the arrests at a press conference in Hyderabad on Monday evening, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said the arrested persons had confessed to their links with the Hyderabad-based Deendar Anjuman, a Muslim religious organisation.
Two persons -- Nazamudddin and Syed Iqbal of Vijayawada -- were arrested by the police near Nallajarla near Eluru on Monday morning. Their interrogation revealed that they were involved in the bomb blasts in places of worship that have rocked the state since May 21 this year. They confessed to being members of the Deendar Anjuman.
Chandrababu Naidu said Syed Iqbal, secretary of the Deendar Anjuman branch at Vijayawada, also confessed that on the specific instructions of his religious head, Zia-ul-Hasan of Pakistan, Deendar activists prepared bombs in the last few months. These were distributed to several volunteers to be placed in different places of worship. The idea was to create a rift among different communities.
The chief minister said based on information given by Syed Iqbal, the police raided the house of Syed Abdul Jeelani in Nuzvid, Krishna district. Though Jeelani was absconding, the police arrested two persons, Shaikh Khaja Moinuddin and Mohammed Humayun Khan. Both confessed to having participated in the bomb blast at a church in Ongole on June 8.
The police have identified the other accused involved in the bomb blasts in various places in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Syed Ahmed and Mohammed Nazamuddin planted the bomb at a church in Tadepalligudem on June 8. Shaikh Khaja and Humayun Khan planted the bomb in Ongole the same day. Maqbool planted the bomb at a Ram temple in Vijayawada.
Similarly, Jeelani planted the bomb at the Christian congregation at Machilipatnam on May 21. Zakir and Farooq planted bombs in churches at Medak and Vikarabad on May 28. Khalique-uz-Zaman planted the bomb at Markaz Masjid at Guntur on June 25.
The chief minister said all the bomb blast cases would be tried by a special court in Hyderabad. He complimented the police for achieving the breakthrough.
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