October 2001 News

''Hizb'' bid to kill top leaders foiled

24 October 2001
The Times of India

MUMBAI: Police arrested four people belonging to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen who were planning to launch attacks in the country''s financial capital within a week, officials said Wednesday.The men, coming from Baramulla in Kashmir, were planning to open fire at public places, plant bombs at key installations and assassinate key political figures, said Surendra Mohan Shangari, the police commissioner in the neighbouring city of Thane, where the arrests were made late Tuesday.The four, aged 19-28, were arrested after a raid by the Crime Branch in a house in Mumbra, a suburb in Thane, Shangari said. The militants, identified as Javed alias Java Ahmed Mohammad Akbar Bhat (23), Farooq Ahmed Mohammad Sidiqui (23), Altaf Hussain Gulam Mohideen Bhat (19) and Farooq Ahmed Mohammad Ramzan Soban (28), had been hiding in Mumbra for over two weeks, the police commissioner said. Soban was involved in a number of murders in Kashmir and had fled the place carrying a revolver and a walkie talkie. Javed knew the route from Baramulla to Pakistan and was mainly involved in guiding militants along the route and also imparting training in the use of arms, Shangari said. The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen has the largest number of militants active in Jammu and Kashmir, security officials say.A selection of foreign-made handguns, 26 bullets and a ''Mumbai guide'' were also seized during the raid.Shangare said other materials recovered from the suspects indicated that they were planning to assassinate several prominent local politicians.One of the four men arrested, Faroqh Choupan, was wanted in connection with several murder cases in Kashmir.''He recently had escaped from Kashmir and specialises in smuggling terrorists across the India and Pakistan border,'' Shangare said.''The four are known to be involved in the ongoing jihadi kind of militancy and we are glad that whatever their plan was, it has been foiled,'' Shangare said.


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