Monday, December 20, 2010

Dawood aide probed for LTTE links

Mirza Mohiddin Baig was arrested in Colombo last year
Mumbai's Anti Terrorism Squad is questioning a key member of Dawood Ibrahim gang for alleged links with the banned outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to supply arms for terror activities in India.

ATS has sought a fresh remand for D-Company top lieutenant Mirza Mohiddin Baig, currently under Crime Branch's custody, to question him in connection with terror links in the country.

Additional Director General of Police, Rakesh Maria, has confirmed to MiD DAY that Baig is being interrogated for terror links in India. He refused to give further details.

Baig, who was on the Interpol's wanted list, had been arrested in Colombo on May 8, 2009, after a long stint in Sri Lanka, and deported to India. The police had recovered three pistols and 18 live rounds from him.

Since then, the gangster had been in judicial custody until last week when the Crime Branch took over, after his name cropped up again after intelligence reports indicate that D-Company is procuring arms and ammunition from the remaining members of LTTE for operations in the country.

Investigations by ATS and the Crime Branch provide evidence that D-gang members have allied with the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba for spreading terror in the country. Reports indicate that under the 'Karachi Project', terrorist organisations have been using Dawood's network in India for logistic support.

A few hundred of the LTTE core cadre have gone underground with huge quantities of arms and deadly explosive RDX after the Sri Lankan army stormed their bastion killing their leader V Prabhakaran last year.

Baig was arrested soon after the operations.

Sources informed that Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence operatives have covertly trained and armed members of LTTE to carry out attacks in India. Even more so after the Indian Peace Keeping Force was deployed in the Island since late 1980s.

Reports indicate that LTTE have also been selling sophisticated arms and explosives to the Maoist factions across the country.

Baig's questioning assumes significance in light of reports that LTTE is planning to target the country's Prime Minister and Home Minister.

Police sources said that Baig could also be questioned for the alleged involvement of D-Company, directly or indirectly, in the Varanasi bomb blast earlier this month.

Backgrounder

Baig climbed up the mafia ranks after he was running illegal ISD facilities. Dawood's second-in-command, Chhota Shakeel, soon made him the nodal person in Mumbai.
The gangster from Kortula in Karim Nagar district in Andhra Pradesh was assigned the task to deliver arms to D-Company shooters in Mumbai, before he was arrested by the Crime Branch's Criminal Intelligence Unit.

An AK-47 rifle and four imported revolvers were recovered from Baig during the raid on his hideout in 2000.

The gangster had then confessed of having links with gun suppliers in Bangkok, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, a former Crime Branch officer said. Baig soon jumped bail and escaped to Dubai and later surfaced in Colombo.

Rashid Malbari, another ace shooter in Dawood's gang, was carrying out underworld operations from Sri Lanka.
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