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7/11: Tenth arrest, ATS brings Al Badr commander from J-K

7/11: Tenth arrest, ATS brings Al Badr commander from J-K

Author: Express News Service
Publication: The New Indian Express
Date: September 4, 2006
URL: http://cities.expressindia.com/archivefullstory.php?newsid=199718&creation_date=2006-09-04

The State Anti-Terrorist Squad today made its tenth arrest in the serial blasts case after booking Al Badr divisional commander Tohfooq Ahmed Hashemi alias Abu Amad for the explosion at Mahim railway station on July 11.

Picked up by the Rashtriya Rifles from his hideout in the forests of Nadimarg in Kulgam, Kashmir, on August 22, Hashemi was brought to Mumbai on Saturday evening and remanded to police custody till September 13 this afternoon.

During questioning at the Joint Interrogation Centre in Kashmir, Hashemi allegedly said he had spoken to a Lashkar-e-Toiba commander named Abdul Tariq, who had told him that the Mumbai blasts had been carried out by LeT operatives.

''Certain media reports regarding statements made by Hashemi came to our notice. Although we have received no official communication from the local police in Kashmir about such statements, we are exploring all possible leads. We have taken custody of Hashemi to interrogate him about his claims of LeT involvement in the blasts,'' said Joint Commissioner of Police, ATS, K P Raghuvanshi.

During a television interview in Kashmir following his arrest, Hashemi had claimed that 17 LeT operatives had carried out the Mumbai blasts, and that all except one had returned to the Valley. Incidentally, an e-mail sent to a TV channel on July 17, allegedly by a group named Lashkar-e-Qahar, claimed that ''16 brothers of the group had participated in the bombings, and one had died''.

''It is too early to draw any links between Hashemi's claims and the e-mail sent earlier,'' said Raghuvanshi.

According to the ATS, it has not been able to extract much information from Hashemi yet. ''We know that he was an ex-serviceman in the Pakistan army, which he quit in 1986. He had a run-in with the Indian Army sometime last month, during which he escaped with a bad shoulder injury,'' said Raghuvanshi.

Al Badr's Jammu-Udhampur divisional commander, Hashemi was actively operating in the area for the last 10 years, according to the Army. Two of his accomplices managed to escape when he was arrested on August 22.

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