Two men, suspected to have links with Indian Mujahideen (IM) , were arrested in southcentral Bihar’s Gaya district on Wednesday.
Two others accomplices, however, managed to evade the police.
One of the two arrested is believed to be involved in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts in which 56 people were killed and more than 200 injured, the police said.
The police picked up Mohammad Tauseef Khan alias Mohammad Atik and Shane Khan near Rajendra Ashram in Civil Lines locality of Gaya, around 100 km south of Patna, on Wednesday afternoon. The photograph of one of the arrested persons matched with the one released by the police in newspaper advertisements, wanted in connection with terror activities.
Police said four persons used to regularly come to Vishnu Cyber Café near Rajendra Ashram and exchange information for long duration there. They would, however, refrain from producing copies of Aadhaar, which cyber café owner Anurag Basu would demand from them before allowing them to access internet.
On Wednesday, when the suspects did not produce their identity documents, Basu, who also edits vernacular monthly ‘Saf Swar’, informed the police. Meanwhile, all the suspects walked out of the cyber café and boarded cycle-rickshaws from Shahid Chowk. Basu, however, followed the suspects, caught Tauseef Khan as well as Shane Khan and handed them over to a police team, headed by Civil Lines police station SHO Hari Ojha, when it reached there. Two other suspects managed to give them the slip.
The police have also taken the computer, which the suspects had used, into their custody.
Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Garima Mallick confirmed the arrests and said the cyber café owner would be felicitated by police. “It is perhaps the first instance in Gaya when a law-abiding citizen mustered courage to inform the police about suspicious persons.” The arrested persons were being interrogated,” she added.
Teams of the Intelligence Bureau and Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) were expected to reach Gaya on Thursday. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) would also quiz the terror suspects.
Tauseef Khan had reportedly fled to Myanmar after the Gujarat blast. He is believed to have come to Gaya through West Bengal, the police said, adding that the arrested persons had admitted to their links with Indian Mujahideen .
Police said Tauseef Khan, who hailed from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, had been hiding at Sahdeo Khap village in Bodh Gaya police station area, 16 km south of Gaya, since July 2008 with the help of Sarwar Khan of the same village. A computer engineer, well versed in mathematics, Tauseef Khan had joined a private school in the village as a teacher. However, he was also giving lessons in jehad to many Class 12 students who came to him for private tuitions, the police said.
“Tauseef Khan has so far trained more than 20 youths to carry out terror activities and we are trying to trace them,” a senior police officer said.
Meanwhile, security has been steeped up at Gaya, where a large number of people have assembled to perform rituals for salvation of their ancestors’ soul during the ongoing Pitrapaksha Mela and at the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya..