Ahmedabad, May 17
The Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has arrested four persons for their alleged involvement in the Bombay serial bomb blasts, which killed 257 persons and injured over 700 others on March 12, 1993.
Based on a specific information about the presence of four suspicious persons in Ahmedabad, a team was formed under Deputy Superintendent of Police, Kanubhai Patel, which detained the four persons from the Sardarnagar area on the evening of May 12.
Initially, the four accused were booked for carrying forged Indian passports.
The arrested persons had Indian passports with the following names — Javed Basha alias Qasim Saab, Syed Abbas Sharif alias Syed Abbas, Syed Yasin alias Abdul Rahman, and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail alias Sheikh Ismail Noor Mohammad. They had obtained these persons using fake address documents.
As per the ATS, after their real identities were revealed, the police found that the four accused were allegedly involved in the 1993 serial bomb blasts.
The real identities of the accused persons were found to be Abu Bakar alias Abdul Gafoor (Javed Basha); Syed Qureshi alias Rahat Jan Qureshi (Syed Abbas Sharif); Mohammad Shoaib Qureshi alias Shoaib Bawa (Syed Yasin); and Mohammad Yusuf Ismail alias Yusuf Bhatka (Mohammad Yusuf Ismail).
Sources said that all the four persons were wanted for their alleged involvement in the 1993 serial blasts, and were on the run to this day.
They were all members of a smuggling gang run by Mohammad Ahmed Dosa alias Mohammad Dosa, and were involved in the smuggling of gold and silver in India in the 1980s and 1990s.
The accused had gone to the Middle East in February 1993, a month before the blasts, and attended a meeting organised by Dawood Ibrahim, in which the latter instructed them to go to Pakistan for arms training.
Abu Bakr, Syed Qureshi, Mohammad Shoaib and Mohammad Yusuf had then gone to Pakistan, where they were trained in manufacturing of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), after which they returned to India.
Abu Bakr also played a role in disposing of another consignment of weapons that had arrived in Maharashtra by sea, just days after the serial blasts.
In the aftermath of the blasts, these individuals used fake address documents to fraudulently obtain Indian passports with different names and identities and fled India.
All four of them were declared guilty by the special TADA court in Mumbai, while the Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice in their name.
As per sources, ATS officials will hand over the four accused to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the Mumbai serial blasts case, after their remand period is over.