Nawaz's arrest could lead to major breakthrough

Ahmedabad: One of the most important links in Ahmedabad serial blasts case, Sarfaraz Nawaz, 31, who was arrested by Bangalore police on March 9 is a prize catch for Gujarat.

Nawaz is suspected to be the link for the source who funded blasts that took place on July 26 last year. He had come in contact with Riyaz Bhatkal, a key Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative, wanted by Gujarat police, through former SIMI member and Indian Mujahideen operative Abdul Subhan alias Tauqeer. Tauqeer had played a key role in the Ahmedabad serial blasts and terror operations in Delhi.

Both Tauqeer and Bhatkal were dependent on funds provided by Nawaz. Investigators in Bangalore have revealed that at an Oman based Pakistani resident Wali Aziz alias Rehan funded most of IM operations in India through Nawaz.

Nawaz, who hails from Ernakulam in Kerala joined SIMI in 1995 and was appointed as SIMI Delhi office secretary in 2000. In 2001 he moved to Muscat arranging funds for Jihadi activities in the country. Nawaz remained an elusive entity till November last year when Indore police caught Qyamuddin Kapadia one of the most wanted men in the Ahmedabad serial blasts.

"Nawaz was in touch with Bhatkal's pointsman, a Kerala resident Abdul Sattar, 57, who is believed to have provided material for bombs that went off in Hyderabad in 2007 and in Bangalore and Ahmedabad last year. Sattar was caught by Hyderabad police in January this year. Sattar had all the reasons to be in the business as his son-in-law Abdul Karim was killed by security forces in Kupwara in J&K," says a senior Bangalore police official.

The official adds, "Sattar has been recruiting youth from Kerala, especially Kannur and Hyderabad madarsas and sending them to Pakistan."

A senior city crime branch official adds, "Nawaz is indeed a prize catch for us. We have furnished investigation reports to various agencies about the organisational structure of IM. The association of various groups in blasts and the real identities of terrorists who have been operating under various aliases'. If needed, we will bring in Nawaz for investigations."

Nawaz discussed plans to assassinate certain prominent scientists and high profile politicians in the country with LeT men Jasim and Ali in December last year.

Source: timesofindia