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Delhi under terror threat ahead of Holi, police hunt for two militants

Publish Date: 23 Mar 2013, 08:50 AM
Last Updated: 23 Mar 2013, 05:35 PM
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Delhi under terror threat ahead of Holi
Delhi under terror threat ahead of Holi

New Delhi: The national capital is under the terror threat despite the arrest of a suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, who was to carry out a suicide attack, since his two associates are still here, top police sources said.

This came out after Delhi Police questioned Sayyed Liyaqat Shah, 47, who was arrested from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh on March 20. Shah was brought to Delhi on Thursday and presented before a city court, which remanded him in 15 days' police custody.

Police sources said it was during his questioning that they found out that two of his associates were still in the city, ready to strike commercial hubs. Now, police said, they have spread their net to hunt for the two militants. While the first militant was staying at a guest house in New Delhi waiting to give Shah more directions and provide him logistics, the second had met him, a senior police official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

"The first man had booked room number 304 in the three-storey Hazi Arafat Guest House in Jama Masjid," the officer said. When reporters reached the guest house, an employee said the room was booked around 4 pm on March 20 by a man in his early 30s.  

"He was around five feet eight and was wearing a red cap and had a backpack. After a few hours, he met another man. The second man was in his room for sometime and later both left around 8 pm," the employee told reporters on condition of anonymity. The guest house employee also said that before leaving the room, the guest handed the room's key to the receptionist.

The police raided the guest house on March 21."The police arrived at New Delhi at around 11.30 pm and asked about the customers. All the customers were found in their rooms except for the one in 304," the employee said. Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) S N Srivastava told reporters that the raiding team opened the room in the presence of the manager when the suspected person did not return till late in the night.

"During the search of the room, police recovered an AK-56 assault rifle, three hand grenades, two magazines each carrying 30 rounds (cartridges), 220 gm explosives, a map of Delhi and a memory card," Srivastava said. He said CCTV camera footage of the guest house was also being checked.

"Through the footage, we found that one person had come to meet him," said Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, deputy commissioner of police (Special Cell).Shah, who had come to India through Kathmandu in Nepal, was tasked to draw up a workable plan in Delhi by selecting the places for terror strike where maximum casualties could be inflicted.  "To reach Kathmandu, Shah took a flight from Karachi on a fake Pakistani passport," said Srivastava.

(Agencies)

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