Pak terrorist nabbed in Delhi, attack averted: Police

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/13/2021 10:35:04 AM Front Page

New Delhi: A plan by Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI to orchestrate terror attacks in Delhi during the ongoing festival season has been thwarted with the police saying Tuesday that it has arrested a Pakistani terrorist who was residing here under the guise of an Indian national.
Delhi Police said it recovered an AK-47 assault rifle, its ammunition and a grenade from 40-year-old Mohd Ashraf alias Ali, who hails from Pakistan Punjab's Narowal district.
Ashraf has been in continuous touch with his handler in Pakistan, whose codename is 'Nasir' and is an "official" in the Pakistani intelligence service, said Pramod Kushwaha, Deputy Commissioner of Delhi Police's Special Cell which is the anti-terrorist unit of the force.
Ashraf was arrested from Laxmi Nagar area of East Delhi, where he was residing as an Indian national, Ali Ahmed Noori, and pretended to be a spiritual baba, Kushwaha said.
Citing preliminary questioning of the accused, the Delhi Police official said Ashraf was involved in several terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
He had been asked by Nasir to carry out a terror attack in Delhi during the ongoing festival season and it was for this purpose that the AK-47 rifle and ammunition was given to him, Kushwaha said, adding the Special Cell sleuths arrested him before he could execute his nefarious design. He was produced before a court, which sent him to 14-day police custody.
“It is in very initial stage of investigation. We will investigate all aspects and terror links,” said Kushwaha while replying to a volley of questions regarding Ashraf's plans, his associates and other details.
The DCP said Ashraf had been picked by ISI after he finished Class 10 and was imparted training in terror activities.
Ashraf was sent to India via the Bangladesh border 10 years back and since then he had been shifting bases.
Ashraf, on the basis of forged documents made in Bihar, remained in the guise of an Indian national, Kushwaha said. He even managed to get an Indian passport.
He also married an Indian girl in an attempt to authenticate his Indian nationality and dumped her a few months later.
To avoid detection, he kept shifting his place of residence and stayed temporarily at various places like Ajmer, Ghaziabad and Delhi, Kushwaha said.
“He (Ashraf) used to work for ISI as a sleeper cell and sometimes he would be involved in terror activities in J&K,” said the DCP.
Ashraf was getting funding through Hawala and arms from other men, Kushwaha said, however, he did not share details about who supplied arms and ammunition to the ISI-trained terrorist.
Ashraf is known as Maulana in the east Delhi area where he has been staying and pretends to treat sick people in his locality, said police.
“The police said Ashraf had visited foreign countries, Saudi and Thailand, on fake Indian documents. He has constantly been changing his hideout in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Ajmer and Bihar to evade his arrest,” said Kushwaha.
Asraf has been arrested under relevant provisions of the UA(P) Act, Explosive Act, Arms Act, said police.

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