BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh police on Monday claimed to have arrested the man who had planted bombs in bicycles in Jaipur and Ahmedabad triggering a series of blasts in the two cities that claimed more than 75 lives and left hundreds injured.
Saif-ur Rahman (22), a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, boarded a train from Varanasi on Sunday for Mumbai. Acting on an intelligence tip-off, a team of MP police's Special Task Force (STF) boarded the train near Jabalpur around Sunday midnight and arrested him. "There are a number of cases registered against him. He has also been named as an accused in the Jaipur and Ahmedabad blast cases,'' said STF inspector-general MS Gupta, adding: "Police of four states, -- Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra -- have been on the lookout for him.''
Rahman, who passed higher secondary exams in 2003, wanted to be an engineer and made attempts to get admission in an engineering college. When he failed to do so, he went to New Delhi and joined a coaching centre. Here, he came in contact with friends who led him to join Indian Mujahideen, police claimed.
"Rahman's task was to plant bombs,'' said Gupta. "They first chose a city where they would execute the blasts. Three or four days before the incident, Rahman along with his accomplices would reach the city. He was among those who planned and picked up locations where bombs would be planted. Once they zeroed in on the sites, their next job was to arrange the bicycles.''
"Saif would be put incharge to buy the bicycles. He would buy old bicycles if they were readily available. Otherwise he would buy new ones. After attaching the bomb to the bicycle, he would cycle down to crowded places and park the vehicle there,'' Gupta added.
Rahman went into hiding after Ahmedabad police started arresting blasts' accused a year ago. According to Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad, police verified the identity of the youth before arresting him.
Sources claimed members of Indian Mujahideen who were arrested by the Gujarat police had during interrogation named Rahman as part of the blasts' team. The Gujarat and Rajasthan police had been searching for him since then.
"He was not only named in the Jaipur and Ahmedabad blasts cases but a warrant had also been issued against him. The toughest task was to ascertain whether he was the same Saif-ur Rahman we were looking for. We interrogated him on the train and took measures to be hundred per cent sure that he was the accused,'' I-G Gupta said.
A Jaipur police team has left for Bhopal. Here, it will appeal before the court for a transit remand so the team can take Rahman to Rajasthan for interrogation. The Gujarat police have also been informed about the arrest.