With A Holi Pun, Terror Suspect Lands In ATS Net

With A Holi Pun, Terror Suspect Lands In ATS Net

15 March 2010
The Hindu
Manas Dasgupta

Gandhinagar: A careless pun on “celebrating” the Holi with the “colour of blood” is believed to have landed Kashmiri terror suspect Bashir Ahmed Baba alias Aijaz in the police dragnet in Gujarat. The Anti-Terrorist Squad picked him up from the national highway near Anand on Saturday night, and he was later remanded to police custody for 14 days by a court there. Top police sources confirmed that Bashir came under watch following his casual remarks made on a mobile phone, after intelligence agencies found that the call was made to the Pakistan-based terrorist Bilal Shera, who is believed to be running terror training camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The police said Bashir - who arrived in Ahmedabad on February 20 - made frequent calls to his home State, Kashmir, and later started calling up his Hizbul Mujahideen handler, Shera. During one such “careless call” prior to the Holi on March 1, security agencies - entrusted with screening calls to suspected Pakistani terrorists - found that Bashir was commenting that there was no fun in Holi with colours and that it should be “steeped in blood to have real fun.” The agencies checked the conversation and tipped off the Gujarat ATS, which traced the call to Bashir and kept him under surveillance for about a fortnight. Supposedly in Ahmedabad for training in setting up a cleft lip surgery camp as an assistant of the Srinagar-based Kimaya Foundation, Bashir was apparently using the telephone and the laptop of a local doctor, who had allowed him to stay in his flat in the posh Satellite area. The police believe that the doctor was unaware of Bashir's terror background and that the suspect was using his phone and laptop for nefarious activity. Neighbours later told the police that Bashir was living extravagantly, raising suspicions. Director-General of Police S.S. Khandwawala said all those who had “helped” Bashir in one way or the other would be closely questioned and no one would bespared if found guilty. Asked how the doctor gave Bashir his flat without informing the police, despite clear instructions from authorities, Mr. Khandwawala said action would be taken against him for violating the norms.


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