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Bengaluru blast mastermind held, claims Kerala police

By Arun Lakshman and Vicky Nanjappa
July 22, 2009 18:44 IST
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One of the main 'accused' in the Bengaluru bomb blast, which took the lives of several innocent persons, was arrested on Wednesday at Kochi.

The Kochi city police commissioner Manoj Abraham told media persons that Haleem, a former Students Islamic Movement of India operative and one of the main accused in the bomb blast at Bengaluru was held.

"Haleem had admitted his role not only in the Bengaluru blasts, buts also in the case related to the twin blast in Kozhikode  in 2006, which was masterminded by him and his colleague Thadikkaran Naseer. Both Haleem and Naseer belong to Kannur district of Kerala, and are also involved in the recruitment of youths to the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror organisation in Kashmir," the officer added.

It may be recalled that six youths from Kerala were recently killed in Kashmir while they were crossing the Line of Control into Pakistan.

The police also told mediapersons that Haleem is an expert in making sophisticated bombs using electronic controls, and he was utilised in major operations carried out by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in several parts of the country.

He has also admitted his role in the Vinod and Azad murder cases in Kannur, and the Kalamassery bus burning incident, which was done in protest of the detainment of People's Democratic Party leader Abdul Nasser Madani in Coimbatore central jail without trial.

"The police would be able to unearth more details on a detailed interrogation of Haleem," Abraham said.

The police also confirmed his association with the Hyderabad-based terror group Nooresha Thwareekath, which has already started several sleeper cells throughout the country.

Police commissioner also said that Haleem has spilled the beans on the sources of funding to the terror groups in Kerala.

The police also said that the terror groups are trying to create a safe sleeper-cell in the state to carry out their operations elsewhere in the country.

The investigation into the serial blasts which rocked Bengaluru last year may receive a boost with the arrest of Haleem.

Although the Joint Commissioner of Police, Alok Kumar denies any link between Haleem and the Bengaluru case, the fact remains that Haleem was closely associated with both Sattar and Naseer, both of whom have been termed as masterminds in the case.

Alok Kumar said that the moment the news of the arrest came, they verified Haleem's antecedents and found that he was not involved in the case directly.

Police sources however add that the interrogation of this man will be interesting as he will surely be able to provide information regarding the mastermind Naseer who currently is hiding in Bangladesh.

He will also be interrogated about his close links with Sattar, the man arrested by the Bengaluru police in January 2009 in connection with the same case.

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Arun Lakshman and Vicky Nanjappa