Hubballi: An anti-terror squad from Mumbai and Chennai recently arrested three suspected terrorists, who were staying in a rented house at Tejashwi Nagar in Dharwad.
The house owner, Shivaji Kulkarni, came to know about the arrest of his former tenants only after the ATS members visited his house recently along with the suspects’ photos for investigation. These tenants had stolen Kulkarni’s photo and taken a SIM card in his name.
They were reportedly involved in the blast at the Chennai Railway Station in May this year that killed one. All the three, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh, had claimed to be clothes merchants and stayed in the house for five months.
They vacated the house on June 6, but were arrested in Hyderabad by the anti-terror squad after tracking the internet protocol (IP) address.
Based on the revelations made by the suspected terrorists, the squad visited Mr Kulkarni’s house and gathered more information. They enquired neighbours and also verified the internet centre and STD booths used by them near the house. One of the arrested is identified as Asif and all of them had close links with outlawed outfit SIMI.
“The Anti-Terror Squad members have frequently visited my house in the last 15 days. The ATS members showed their photos to me during the interrogation, and I have realised that these tenants are suspected terrorists. They had stolen my ID card and photos to get a SIM. They had given wrong names at the time of taking my house on rent. They used to stay indoors throughout the day,” Kulkarni said.
But the Hubballi-Dharwad police were clueless about the arrests and the officials visited Kulkarni’s house after the news broke out about their arrests on Saturday.
Home Minister K.J. George, however, said that that the reports of two suspected terrorists being arrested in Dharwad were far from the truth.