Police arrest four suspects, recover more arms
Nashik/Mumbai, May 13 (UNI) Three days after the biggest seizure of 30 kgs of RDX explosive as well as a huge arsenal of arms and ammunition from three terrorists in Aurangabad, the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of Mumbai police today recovered another cache of weapons and hand grenades from Ankai Fort in Nashik district.
Police have also detained four suspects in the unfolding threat of spectre of terrorism looming large over Maharashtra after the crucial breakthrough in Aurganabad on Wednesday when ATS sleuths intercepted a jeep after a chase and recovered ten Kalashnikov assault rifles, 2,000 rounds of ammunition and 40 magazines besides explosives from three terrorists, one of whom turned out to be an activist of banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
Acting on a tip-off, a contigent of about 200 police personnel led by a Deputy Supeintendent recovered two boxes containing at least 50 hand grenades, one AK-47 rifle along with 206 bullets and two magazines and one AK-47 rifle from Ankai Fort in Manmad taluka of Nashik district.
After the huge weapons haul in Aurangabad, vigilance around historical monument of Ajanata and Ellora caves and hotels had been intensified.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, while cofirming the seizure at Nashik, told UNI five people have been taken into custody in this connection. With the arrest of three terrorists and the driver of a getaway car, who had surrendered yesterday, the total arrests in the case have gone upto nine.
Mr Patil, who is also the Home Minister, said four of the five suspects held by police had helped terrorists change the number plate of the getaway car which was found abandoned on Manmad-Yeola road yesterday.
The car belonged to the same gang of three terrorists who were arrested from a jeep with RDX and arsernal in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The quantity of the RDX seized is more than what was used by the underworld in the 1993 Mumbai blasts which had left 257 people dead and 713 injured besides damaging property worth crores of rupees.
Driver Abdul Aziz alias Raja of Beed, who surrendered yesterday after hiding for two days in forests around Ellora, told police he fled out of fear, claiming he did not know hollowed-out CPUs and computer monitors he took up for transport on hire concealed arms and ammunition and the RDX. The three arrested terrorists had picked up the arsenal from a container near Manmad and were on their way towards Aurangabad when police arrested them after a 90-minute hot chase.
Raja surrendered after police grilled jeep owner Rafiq Shaikh disclosed that the jeep which yielded the weapons and explosive cache was rented out by his car rental agency at Beed.
Meanwhile, interrogation of three terrorists arrested on Wednesday, including SIMI activist Mohammed Amir Shakeel Ahmed,30, continued in Mumbai by the ATS sleuths. His two accomplices are Mohammed Muzafar Tanvir, 26, and Mohammed Zubair Syyed Anwar, 24.
The police, however, did not disclose the identity of four suspects arrested earlier in the day.
UNI AKS-JM SSS-SA PA RK1642