14 February, New Delhi
Delhi Police special cell has nabbed one of the most wanted Indian Mujahideen(IM) terrorists involved in multiple blasts and carrying a total reward of around Rs 20 lakh on his head, a senior police official said here on Wednesday.
According to the police, Ariz Khan alias Junaid alias Salim Sir was apprehended from the Banbasa area of Uttarakhand, bordering Nepal, at around 1720 hours, based on a tip-off regarding his arrival at the place to meet some of his contacts.
The meeting , police said, was part of efforts in the direction of revival of IM.
The information was developed following the arrest of IM ideologue Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, who was held from Delhi in January ,as he had come to meet his associates with a view of reviving IM and SIMI, the police said.
During Tauqeer’s interrogation, some crucial leads regarding the movements and activities of the fugitive Ariz Khan were revealed, the police said.
A reward of Rs 10 lakh was put on his head by the NIA , Rs 5 lakh by Delhi Police and remaining Rs 5 lakhs by other state police, while a Red Notice was also issued against him for being the main conspirator and fund raiser for waging war against country by the Interpol.
He was one of the key persons involved in the bomb blasts in 2007 and 2008 that took place in Uttar Pradesh Court on November 17 2007, Jaipur Blasts May 2008, Ahmedabad-Surat Blasts, July 2008, Delhi Serial Blasts September 2008.
A total of 165 people were killed and over 535 were injured in these terror strikes, the police said.
He was also present at infamous Batla House encounter that took place in Delhi, but managed to escape from their along with his accomplice Shehzad .
After escaping from from Batla house on September 19 2008, he, along with Shehzad, visited relatives and acquaintances in Delhi, UP, Rajasthan and Maharastra to seek shelter and financial aid, but none of them agreed fearing the police.
He later fled to Nepal with the help of some contacts via Bihar to Biratnagar Nepal.
With the help of one Nizam Khan, he managed to procure Nepali Citizenship Card and Passport in the name of Mohd Salim.
During his stay in Nepal,he was in constant touch with Tauqeer, who was also living in Nepal based on fake papers.
Initially, he ran a restaurant and later on started teaching in different schools.
He and Tauqeer had also visited Saudi Arabia in connection with revival of IM during their stay in Nepal, the police added.
The arrest of the fugitives is being seen as a setback to efforts for the revival of IM and SIMI , the police said, adding that further probe was on to zero down their associates .