Journalist among 11 arrested for Karnataka terror plot


A JUNIOR software engineer in the Defence Research Development Organization and a journalist working for a leading local English daily are among 11 people arrested by the Bangalore police in an alleged terror plot to attack a Right-wing columnist in a prominent Kannada daily, Hindu leaders and politicians.

The Bangalore police's Central Crime Branch, acting on inputs from Andhra Pradesh counter-intelligence authorities gathered after several weeks of monitoring mobile phone activity, arrested six persons from Bangalore and five from the north Karnataka town of Hubli on August 29. Most of the arrested have family links in Hubli.

Bangalore Police Commissioner Jyothi Prakash Mirji told a press conference on Thursday that the arrested youth were in regular touch with Lashkar-e-Toiba and Harkat-ul-Jehadi-al-Islami (HUJI) operatives in Saudi Arabia in connection with the alleged plot.

A 7.65 mm pistol and seven bullets have been shown as recovered from the Bangalore house from where six of the 11 were arrested on Wednesday evening.

Among them are Muthi-ur-Rehman Siddiqui, 26, a journalist who has been with Deccan Herald for the last three years, Ejaz Mohammed Mirza, 25, a junior engineer in DRDO, his brother Shoaib Ahmed Mirza, 25, a masters in computer applications, and Mohammed Yousuf Nalband, 28, an electrician.

The others arrested from Bangalore are Abdullah alias Abdul Hakim Jamadar, 25 and Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti, 28.

Among the arrested from Hubli are Obaidullah Imran Bahadur, 24, Mohammed Sadiq Lashkar, 28, Waheed Hussain, 26, Mahaboob Bagalkote, 26, and Dr Jaffar Iqbal Sholapur.

Police sources said that the arrests were a result of monitoring activities of the group over a period by Andhra Pradesh counter-intelligence authorities. One of the main targets of the group was a prominent Right-wing columnist from a Kannada daily, the sources said.

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