Mumbai, (THe Hindu): Mohammed Farooq Mansoori, a wanted accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts, was on Thursday produced before a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court, and remanded in the CBI custody till March 19. He was arrested this morning at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, and was brought to Mumbai.
Police officers said Farooq and his brother Mohammed Ahmed Mansoori, were both wanted for allegedly facilitating the lodging and transport of four foot soldiers, who were recruited for the blasts before being sent to Pakistan for training.
“Farooq and Ahmed are twins and were often mistaken for each other. Farooq, due to his prematurely receding hairline, was nicknamed Farooq Takla by his fellow gang members. Both of them are old time loyalists of Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar. They joined his gang as young recruits and followed him to Dubai after he fled the country in 1986,” a senior Mumbai Police officer said.
Sources said Ahmed was a more prominent figure in the gang than Farooq, and was close to Dawood’s brother Anees. He was named as an accused in the 1992 J.J. Hospital shootout and was arrested along with Subhash Singh Thakur the same year. Some time after securing bail, Ahmed and Farooq fled the country and joined Dawood in Dubai.
In January 1993, Salim Khan alias Salim Kurla, another old time Dawood aide, called up Anees and told him that he had found four men willing to participate in the tehreek-e-inteqaam (movement for revenge), a movement born out of the rage that spread through several Islamic nations in the wake of the Babri Masjid demolition and ultimately led to the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.
“Anees asked Farooq and Ahmed to take care of the four men that Salim was sending. The duo received the men at the Dubai airport, put them up in a hotel for a few days, and arranged their travel to Pakistan. After their training, Farooq and Ahmed brought them back to Dubai and took them for shopping, after which the brothers dropped them at the Dubai airport and gave them their tickets,” the officer said.
Ahmed, who was arrested much earlier, was in 2006 acquitted by the TADA court, after the prosecution failed to prove his role in the blasts. CBI officers said Farooq will now be interrogated about the movements and locations of his fellow gang members, including those named in the blasts, who are still wanted, and the activities of the Kaskar gang in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates
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