The Jodhpur police today arrested three suspected members of an Indian Mujahideen module from different parts of the city and claimed that more such cells could be operating from here.
The arrested were identified as Barkat Ali (30), Mohd Jawed (28) and Mohd Iqbal (32), city Police Commissioner Sachin Mittal said.
Police claimed Ali was an accomplice of arrested IM terrorist Mohd Sakib Ansari and had supplied explosives and electronic detonating devices to him, while Jawed and Iqbal were tasked to provide logistic support for the module members.
Several police teams swung into action to catch Ali after he had managed to give police the slip on Sunday when four IM terrorists including Ansari were arrested from different parts of Rajasthan. "We received information about his arrival at home this morning following which the police cordoned off his house and arrested him," Mittal said, adding that he came home "probably to collect some belongings".
Following interrogation of Ali, police arrested Jawed, a mason, and Iqbal, a roadside vendor, from different parts of the city. Mittal said policemen faced stiff resistance from some locals when they went to arrest Jawed. Two policemen were injured in stone-pelting by Jawed's neighbours and a case has been registered in this regard, he added. "Both Jawed and Iqbal are lowest in the hierarchy among those arrested so far, and had the task of providing logistics to the module handlers," the Police Commissioner said. Police have seized incriminating literature from their houses, he claimed.
On Sunday, top IM terrorist Zia Ur Rehman alias Waqas, a Pakistani national wanted in connection with several bombings, and his three associates -- Mohammad Mahruf (21), Mohammad Waqar Azhar alias Haneef (21), both residents of Jaipur, and Shaquib Ansari alias Khalid (25) of Jodhpur -- were arrested from different parts of Rajasthan.
Ali had managed to escape as he was tipped off by his accomplice Adil about the arrest of Ansari before police could raid his house. Adil was later arrested and several incriminating materials were seized from his house. Ali had allegedly supplied explosives and electronic detonating devices to Sakib, who was trained in making bombs and carrying out explosions by Waqas.
The investigation by the Jodhpur police has so far revealed that they were on the brink of launching serial blast in Jodhpur and Waqas, who was arrested from outside Ajmer Railway Station when he alighted from a train which came from Bandra, Mumbai, was scheduled to arrive here to give the final touch to their plan, Mittal said.
Seizure of handmade maps of circuit diagrams and a diary explaining the procedure of making bombs was a testimony to their intentions, he said. This is not for the first time that terror modules associated with different outfits have been found to be operating in Jodhpur. About five years ago, the ATS had picked up three members of SIMI for their links with the Jaipur blasts.
The Police Commissioner said that presence of more such sleeper cells in Jodhpur cannot be ruled out. "We have been acting on the information being extracted from the interrogation of Adil and Ali and our search is in progress," Mittal said, adding "more arrests are likely in coming days."