INDIA. Mumbai: While the special cell of Delhi Police, has arrested six terrorists, including one from Mumbai, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday stated that no terrorists had come to Mumbai, no weapons were seized and there was no imminent terrorist threat to Mumbai.
Maharashtra ATS Chief Vineet Agarwal told the media on Wednesday that one of the terrorists Jan Mohammad Shaikh (alias Sameer Kaliya), residing at Dharavi in Central Mumbai, has had a connection with Pakistan-based gangster Dawood Ibrahim for the last 20 years.
“We have records about Shaikh’s connection with Dawood Ibrahim gang and he had been already on our radar. But we had no information whether he was involved in any terror plan and the Delhi police too did not give us any information about this. Shaikh proceeded from Mumbai Central to Nizamuddin on September 13 by Golden Temple Express train and was arrested at Kota (Rajasthan) by Delhi Police. However, no weapons were seized from him. Our team is leaving from Delhi tonight to share our information and hold discussion with Delhi police, he added.
The Delhi police have arrested Jaan Mohammad Shaikh (47) ( from Mumbai), Osama Sami (22) (from Delhi), Moolchand alias Lala (47) (from Raebareli, UP), Zeeshan Qamar (28) (from Prayagraj, UP), Mohammad Abu Bakar (23) (from Bahraich, UP) and Mohammad Amir Javed (31) (from Lucknow, UP).
The accused were planning to carry out bomb blasts in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi and RDX-fitted IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were recovered from them in the multi-state operation, the Delhi Police said adding that with the arrest of these six terrorists, they have busted a Pakistan-organised terror module. They arrested six, include two Pakistan-trained suspected terrorists.
Jan Mohammed Sheikh’s name had come up after the arrest of Fazlu Rehman Khan alias Mujju last year by the Anti Extortion Cell of the Mumbai Crime branch. Fazlu Rehman Khan was the close aide of Faheem Machmach — a deceased gangster and henchman of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
Fazlu Rehman Khan and two others were arrested when they had planned to eliminate a South Mumbai businessman for Anees Ibrahim( brother of Dawood Ibrahim) on the instructions of the deceased Faheem Machmach. Two pistols and live cartridges were then recovered from them.
Khan had revealed the names of his known associates working for Faheem Machmach at the behest of Anees Ibrahim. One of the names as per Mumbai Crime Branch sources was Jan Mohammed Sheikh alias Sameer Kaliya. Mumbai police had kept a close eye on Jan Mohammed Sheikh’s activities for some time but couldn’t find but he was not active during that period.
Jan Mohammed Sheikh, a resident of Dharavi in Mumbai, operated like a sleeper cell for Faheem Machmach till his death last month due to Covid-19 and since then was taking orders directly from Anees Ibrahim. Jan Mohammed was also suspected of supplying arms and ammunition for the gang’s activities but maintained a low profile since Fazli Rehman alias Mujju’s arrest last year in November.
On Tuesday evening, Jan Mohammed’s family members were questioned by Mumbai police officials at the Dharavi police station. However, the relatives denied knowing anything about his role in terror-related activities.
While Jan Mohammed Sheikh, Mohd Abu Bakar, Osama, and Moolchand were remanded to 14 days of police custody on Tuesday, the other two — Zeeshan Qamar and Mohd Amir Javed were produced before the court on Wednesday afternoon.
The plan to impart training was worked out in January and the accused were given the terrorist training in Pakistan in April this year by Dawood company and ISI.
However, with Mumbai police being unaware of Jan Mohammed Sheikh’s recent activities and his arrest by Delhi police, generated a blame game between the Opposition and ruling parties in Maharashtra. BJP MLA Ashish Shelar said it was disgraceful that the Mumbai police were unaware of Sheikh’s terrorist activities. However, Home Minister Dilip Patel maintained that the situation was not alarming and the Mumbai police knew about Sheikh. It was unfortunate that instead of cooperating, the opposition was creating unwanted controversy.