Police claim breakthrough in UP cycle blasts; 2 HuJI men held

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Lucknow, Dec 22 (UNI) The Uttar Pradesh Police today said a major breakthrough had been made in the May 22 Gorakhpur serial blasts and the November 23 district court cycle blasts in the state with the arrest of two alleged militants of the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI) terrorist group, including their logistics wing commander.

The two, including a madrasa teacher and a Unani doctor were arrested early today from near a railway station in neighbouring Barabanki district.

One of those arrested was identified as Dr Mohd Tariq Kasmi, a practicing Unani medicine doctor and head of HuJI's 'intizami' (logistics) wing of UP. ''Without his approval, no blast could take place...he had the authority to shoot any member disobeying his orders or jumping the brief,'' said Additional Director General of police (Crime/Law and Order and STF) Brij Lal.

The other arrested Was identified as Khalid Mujahid, who is a teacher at a Jaunpur-based madarasa.

''The May 22, 2007 Gorakhpur serial blasts were planned in 2006.

The blasts were to take place in December, 2006, but the arrest of their leader Khalid Kashmiri forced HuJI to postpone the terrort act to May, 2007,'' said Mr Lal.

The November 23 cycle blasts in civil courts in Faizabad, Varanasi and Lucknow, which claimed 13 lives, were finalised on November 17. Four HuJI militants had gathered at the house of Tariq in Azamgarh district. A terrorist, identified as Mukhtar alias Raju who had come from Bangladesh, assembled the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from material smuggled from Bangladesh in Varanasi.

With the help of local sources, the terroists bought cycles and placed the bags containing IEDs at the various court premises on November 23.

''Yes, the attacks on terror accused by lawyers in courts during their appearances was one of the reasons to target courts,'' added Mr Lal.

About 1.50 kg of RDX, six detonators, three cell phones and nine 'Super Power 90 ' ammonium nitrate rods were recovered from the two.

The near simultaneous November 23 bomb blasts rocked three cities of Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad, killing 13 people, some of them lawyers, and left over 70 others injured. Six low-intensity bombs -- three in Varanasi, two in Faizabad and one in Lucknow -- were planted on cycles.

UNI

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