Briefing reporters here today, State Director General of Police Lalrokhuma Pachau and City Police Commissioner Jyotiprakash Mirji said the terrorists belonged to the Harkat-Ul-Jihad-Ul-Islami (HuJI) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfits and had been planning to kill political leaders, including MPs and MLAs and senior journalists besides leaders of Hindu organisations.
They said the arrests had been effected after a three month surveillance by the city crime branch on these suspects and with the assistance of the Uttar Pradesh Police.
Mr Pachau said the terrorists arrested in Bangalore were Shoiab Ahmed Mirza (25), Abdullah alias Abdul Hakim Jamadhar (25), Ejaj Mohammed Mirza (25), Mohammed Yusuf Nalabandh (28), Riaz Ahmed Byahatti (28) and Muti-ur-Rehman Siddique (26). Those arrested in Hubli were Obaidullah Imran Bahadur (24), Mohammed Sadiq Lashkar (28), Wahid Hussain (26), Mehaboob Bagalkote alias Baba (26) and Dr Jaffer Iqbal Sholapur (27). During the operations police had also recovered a 7.65 mm pistol and seven live bullets besides other incriminating documents.
While Ejaj Mohammed Mirza had six months ago joined the DRDO as a Junior Scientist, his brother Ahmed Mirza was studying MCA. Another terrorist Muti-ur-Rehman is a journalist in a English newspaper in the city.
The DGP said with their arrest the state police had averted a major catastrophe.
According to a Hubli report, the arrested were allegedly downloading Zehadi literature from the computer for several days and were in regular touch with Zehadi organisation. On getting definite information, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) police from Bangalore and Uttar Pradesh arrived in Hubli city and conducted the raid in all the houses belonging to the accused in Keshvapur suburban and M D Colony. They also reportedly seized some important incriminating articles from the accused.
All the four arrested were taken to an unidentified place for further interrogation along with the other five arrested at Bangalore. The CCB team has been trying to unearth information about the contacts of the accused with the Mujahidin organisation.
However, the Police Commissioner of Hubli-Dharwad Padmanayan stated that he was not aware of the arrests and he came to know about it only through media reports.