1993 Mumbai serial blasts case convict, Jalees Ansari, was arrested on Friday from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, a day after he went “missing” from Mumbai while on parole, an official said. He was nabbed at Faithfulganj in Kanpur Nagar in a joint operation of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Sqaud (ATS) and the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF).
The 68-year-old is a resident of Mominpura in south Mumbai’s Agripada who is serving a life term at Ajmer Central Jail in Rajasthan, is suspected to be involved in many bomb blast cases across the country, an official said.
According to the official, on parole for 21 days, Ansari and was expected to surrender before prison authorities on Friday. During the parole period, he was ordered to visit the Agripada Police Station everyday between 10.30 am and 12 pm to mark his attendance, he said. However, Ansari did not visit the police station on Thursday during the designated time, the official said.
Instead, Ansari’s 35-year-old son Jaid Ansari approached the police station in afternoon with a complaint about his “missing” father, he said.
According to the complaint, Jalees Ansari woke up in the early hours and told family members he is going to offer namaz, but did not return home.
On the son’s complaint, the Agripada Police registered a missing person’s case, the official said.
The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra ATS have launched a massive manhunt to trace him, he said.
Popularly known as ‘Doctor Bomb’ Ansari is an MBBS doctor by training. Jalees Ansari was allegedly connected with terror outfits like SIMI and Indian Mujahideen and taught terror groups how to make bombs, he said. He is suspected to be involved in more than 52 blast cases across the country. He was serving a life term in the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express at Kota. The NIA questioned Ansari in 2011 in connection with the 2008 bomb blast in Mumbai as well.
The Maharashtra ATS had on Thursday night expressed suspicion that he might have gone to his native village Amar Dova in Sant Kabir Nagar district in UP, the official added.
“As there were also chances of him fleeing to Nepal, the UP STF had also shared the information about Ansari to the police stations located along the Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.
“Trains coming from Mumbai to Lucknow were also on the radar of the agencies. On a specific tip-off, the UP STF laid a trap at Faithfulganj in Kanpur Nagar and arrested Ansari. Cash of Rs 47,780, his Aadhaar card, mobile phone and a pocket diary were seized from him,” he said.
“During his interrogation by the UP Police on Thursday, it came to light that Ansari had fled to Pakistan around 1990 and returned to India via Bangladesh in 1992,” the official said.
“In Pakistan, he had undergone training for terror activities and was in touch with the members of Harkat-ul- Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI),” the official said, adding that he was inspired by terrorist Abdul Karim Tunda.
Ansari was also responsible for Hyderabad, Malegaon, Pune, Ajmer bomb blast, he said.
He was allegedly connected with terror outfits like SIMI and Indian Mujahideen and taught their members how to make bombs, which earned him the sobriquet Dr Bomb, he said.
(With PTI inputs)