UP ATS to question Fasih

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The UP Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) will be questioning Fasih Mehmood, the suspected founder-member of Indian Mujahideen (IM) who was arrested by Delhi Police Special Cell on Monday after he was deported from Saudi Arabia. The UP ATS will question Fasih about his links with Azamgarh-based IM operatives Sadiq Sheikh, Dr Shahnawaj and Mohammad Khalid.

While Sadiq was arrested by Mumbai Police Crime Branch on September 26, 2008 along with four other IM suspects, Shahnawaj and Khalid have been absconding since their names came to light during the Batla House encounter probe, the same year.

Delhi Police has announced Rs 1 lakh reward on the arrest of Shahnawaj and Khalid, both residents of Sanjarpur village in Sarai Mir area of Azamgarh. The duo have also been accused in five cases of serial blasts, which took place in Delhi on September 13, 2008.

Sources said Fasih was given the responsibility of coordinating with the IM group regarding terror operations after the outfit allegedly executed seven serial blasts in the local trains of Mumbai on July 11, 2006. His handlers were Amir Raza Khan, Iqbal Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhatkal, all founders of IM who operated from Pakistan.

Sources said that Sadiq Sheikh, who was the first IM recruit from Azamgarh to be sent to Pakistan through Bangladesh and attended a terror-training camp in 2002, was in contact with Fasih since 2006. In his interrogation report, Sadiq reportedly admitted that he recruited other Azamgarh youths in IM and sent details of the recruits to Amir Raza Khan.

Fasih also helped Shahnawaj and Khalid in getting jobs in Sharjah and Dubai, respectively, after they escaped from India, sources said.

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