D Company's sharp-shooter held

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Lucknow, Nov 26 (UNI) Continuing efforts to nail terrorists involved in Friday's serial blasts in three cities of the state, the Special Task Force (STF) of Uttar Pradesh Police today arrested two Afghan nationals, including a wanted D Company sharp shooter after a brief encounter.

According to STF sources, Tabrez Zaidi and his wife Hyat were nabbed from Raja-ji-puram area here this evening.

The duo had taken an accommodation, C-2560, Raja-ji-puram, on rent a day before yesterday. The house was owned by Syed Waqar.

Tabrez, said to have connections with underworld don Chota Shakil who resided at Henna Apartments at 1 Roboddy, Thane, Mumbai.

The hardened criminal was wanted in connection with over 12 murders and extortion cases both in Mumbai and Mangalore. He was also involved in the sensational murder case of a Dubai based jeweller in 1999.

The notorious sharp-shooter was planning to switch over to Karachi to operate for D Company from there, sources further informed.

Tabrez and his better half had reportedly finalised a 'major land deal' recently, which brought them under the STF scanner.

A total of 13 people were killed and more than 70 wounded in the contemporaneous blasts at the court premises in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad districts.

The city police had yesterday night taken into custody Faizi Ahmed, owner of Faizi Travels, a tour operating agency, for interrogation.

Faizi is the elder brother of suspected Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI) member Mohammad Tufail, whom the police suspect has a hand in the serial blasts.

The investigating team had sealed a computer among several other documents found from the agency situated in Aminabad locality.

''We are in the process of scanning the computer and documents found during the raid,'' a senior district police official said.

According to police sources, Tufail's name also figured in the Mumbai and Delhi serial blasts of 1993 and 2005 respectively and the CBI had also announced a cash reward for Tufail.

The raided travel agency was on the suspect list during a recent terrorist act in Sitapur when a high-powered bombs exploded during transportation.

Police were interrogating nine other people taken into custody from Azamgarh yesterday, in connection with an abandoned car, which was stolen from Lucknow.


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