Lucknow, March 6 (IANS) An Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist, wanted in connection with several bomb blasts in the country, was arrested in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district, a senior police official said here Saturday.
‘Salman alias Chhotu was nabbed March 5 (Friday) in Siddharthnagar district by a team of Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS),’ Additional Director General (Law and Order) Brij Lal told reporters here.
The 21-year-old ‘dreaded and active IM operative’ was arrested from near Dhebrua town in Siddharthnagar, about 300 km from state capital Lucknow.
‘Chhotu was involved in a number of serial blasts in Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi. The Delhi police had placed a reward of Rs.1 lakh for his capture,’ he said.
According to a press release issued by the state ATS Saturday, Chhotu was involved in the 2007 bomb blasts in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur and Varanasi districts and 2008 blasts in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi.
‘We have informed the police in other states also so that they can interrogate Chhotu in connection with different cases pending in their region,’ Lal said.
He said that according to the ATS, Chhotu had gone to Pakistan to receive training at a terrorist camp.
‘He left for Pakistan last December on a fake passport, which he managed to procure during his stay in Nepal, to attend a terrorist training camp there. After the training, he returned to Nepal Jan 22, 2010,’ Lal said.
‘In the camp, he learnt to make bombs and operate several sophisticated firearms, including AK 47. Chhotu reached Pakistan Dec 12, 2009 and came back to Nepal Jan 22 2010,’ he added.
Entrusted with the task of strengthening the IM in Uttar Pradesh, Chhotu lived at several places in Uttar Pradesh, Nepal and Bihar, ATS officials said.
‘Chhotu had also lived in Lucknow. In 2008, he enrolled himself for a BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications) course in an institute in Hazratganj here,’ Lal said.