Feuding police arrest key witness in 13/7 Mumbai terror attacks; allow terrorists to

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by Vyom, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    For the past six weeks, an obscure Darbhanga-based leather-business owner has been at the heart of India's hunt for the men who planted three improvised explosive devices that went off in a crowded Mumbai marketplace last summer, killing 26 and injuring at least 130.

    Naquee Ahmad has helped the Intelligence Bureau and the Delhi Police build images of the two Pakistani nationals suspected to have planted the bombs, and sat with under-cover detectives staking out the apartment they last used.

    For his contributions, Mr. Ahmad has been rewarded with arrest on charges of obtaining a mobile phone subscriber identity card using fake documents — a case a top Mumbai Police official told The Hindu was “totally without merit.” His brother Rafi Ahmad has also been detained; their youngest sibling, Taquee, was questioned on Wednesday.

    Mr. Ahmad's surreal fate, the outcome of a feud pitting Maharashtra's élite anti-terrorism unit, the ATS, against the Delhi Police and the Intelligence Bureau, demonstrates how India's national security effort is still mired in incompetence — three years after the tragic events of 26/11.

    Key witness

    Intelligence Bureau investigators first held Mr. Ahmad on December 9, following a series of arrests in New Delhi. The story he had to tell was consistent with what the authorities already knew: Mr. Ahmad was a key witness, not a suspect.

    Late in 2008, an Arabic-language student, Gayur Ahmad Jamali, had fallen ill with a lung condition. Friends in Bihar introduced Mr. Jamali to an Ayurvedic physician called “Dr. Imran”. The two men became friends of sorts: “Dr. Imran,” Mr. Jamali told the police, would often advocate armed jihad as a means to retaliate against the oppression of Indian Muslims; he would argue otherwise.

    “Dr. Imran,” the Delhi Police believed, was none other than Muhammad Ahmad Zarar Siddibapa — a fugitive Indian Mujahideen commander also known by the alias “Yasin Bhatkal,” and long sought by the authorities across the world for his alleged involvement in a series of bombings across India.

    In November, Mr. Jamali had contacted Mr. Ahmad with a request: finding a room in Mumbai for his old doctor and two business associates. Mr. Ahmad, who often travelled to the city on business, helped as best he could. In November 2011, the three men made a Rs. 1,00,000-deposit with Razia Begum, to hire a one-room apartment at Byculla.

    In testimony to the Delhi Police, which is available with The Hindu, Mr. Ahmad offered a wealth of detail on the two men he was introduced to as “Waqas” and “Tabrez.” He accompanied the two terrorists to a local gym, and got them supervising work at a construction site. He also identified “Waqas” from closed-circuit camera footage taken outside a store in Jhaveri Bazaar.

    Mr. Ahmad's questioning had all but ended by January 7 — when the Delhi Police arrived on his doorstep with one last request for help.

    In New Delhi, highly-placed government sources told The Hindu, Intelligence Bureau Director Nehchal Sandhu had been personally supervising the monitoring of a phone investigators had established was being used by “Dr Imran.” In an intercepted conversation in December, “Dr Imran” told his landlady that he wanted a refund of Rs. 84,000 that remained of the advance on the apartment at Byculla.

    The Intelligence Bureau's Delhi centre faced technical problems in tracking the mobile phone, and so passed on its details to its station in Mumbai. Then, under circumstances that still haven't been clear, the top-secret number was passed on to the ATS.

    Little understanding either the value or context of this information, the Maharashtra ATS promptly conducted a series of raids: Razia Begum was detained, the Byculla apartment searched, and Mr. Ahmad himself arrested in an effort to understand the case. Not surprisingly, the ATS action destroyed any hope that Mr. Siddibapa or his Pakistani aides might be found.

    Maharashtra's ATS has long faced allegations of sharp practice, and worse. In 2008, for example, it failed to inform the Intelligence Bureau and other State police forces that it had held Mumbai criminal Afzal Usmani, who is being tried on charges of providing vehicles used to stage bombings in Ahmedabad in July 2008. The failure to share intelligence, Delhi Police sources have told The Hindu, facilitated a subsequent Indian Mujahideen strike in the capital that September.

    Later, suspects held in the 2008 investigation Indian Mujahideen claimed, in videotaped testimony, to have bombed Mumbai's suburban train system two years earlier — an offence for which several other Maharashtra men are now being controversially tried.

    In 2010, The Hindu revealed that the ATS had brought about the arrest of Mr. Siddibapa's brother, Muhammad Samad Zarar Siddibapa, on false allegations that he was involved in bombing the German Bakery in Pune.

    “This is our country,” Taquee Ahmad said on Wednesday, “and being an Indian it is our duty to serve our nation and bring the culprits who are enemies of our nation behind bars. I need you to tell me, is this the fruit of doing our duty as Indians”?

    The Hindu : News / National : Feuding police arrest key witness in 13/7 Mumbai terror attacks; allow terrorists to escape
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Talk about non-coordinating agencies. The regular Delhi police seems to be much smarter than the Maha ATS.

    Delhi Police move IB to bail out informer Naqi from ATS custody - Hindustan Times
    The Delhi Police are leaving no stone unturned, not to detain a terrorist, but to help get a businessman suspected of being one bailed out of the custody of their counterparts in Mumbai.

    More than 10 days after the Mahrashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested him in a 'false
    case of cheating', lawyers engaged by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) at the behest of the Delhi Police are in Mumbai to bail out Mohammad Naqi, a Delhi police informer.

    "We had communicated information about the ATS' attempts at botching up our investigations into the 13/7 serial blasts in Mumbai to the IB and requested that Naqi, who has no role except that of an informer, be bailed out," said a senior police officer.

    According to sources in the special team, which had carried-out a month-long operation to track Indian Mujahideen (IM) kingpin Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh and two Pakistani bombers, Waqas and Tabrez, in Mumbai, Naqi has been wrongly implicated.

    "We will stand by Naqi, who is a businessman from Shaheen Bagh and was sharing information with us. We have proof of this," the officer said.

    Rejecting the ATS' allegations against their operation in Mumbai's Byculla (east), special team sources said they had been on Bhatkal's trail ever since they intercepted a phone call by Shahrukh, from Bihar's Madhubani, to the owner of a flat where he and the Pakistani bombers had stayed on November 1.

    Police said Shahrukh's preferred alias 'Dr. Imran' had been instrumental in ascertaining his presence at the said flat, which Naqi had helped him procure from a widow, Rubina.

    "Wherever he went, whether it was in Darbhanga in Bihar, at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi and even the rented accommodation in Byculla, Shahrukh had introduced himself as Dr. Imran, a homeopathic doctor from Patna," said the officer.

    However, it was only once —at Chennai's Selaiyur — where he had claimed to be Dr Shoaib while seeking a rented accommodation soon after the Mumbai serial blasts on July 13.

    The special team had reached Mumbai on December 10 and, with Naqi's help, was able to identify the flat where Shahrukh and the two Pakistani bombers had been staying on rent before the serial blasts on July 13.

    Located in Habib Building near Palace Cinema in Mumbai's Byculla (east), the Delhi Police team was staying at a rented flat just a kilometre away from the trio's former hideout.
     
  4. TheLord

    TheLord Regular Member

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    Pathetic, then how come the public cooperate with the police?
     
  5. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    We will have to see how the National Anti-Terrorism umbrella can bring about coordination among the various state units. Hopefully, it will be at least better than the present situation.
     

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