India’s most wanted terrorist accused in the serial blasts in Gujarat in 2008, in which 56 people were killed, has been arrested, the Delhi Police said on Monday.
Abdul Subhan Qureshi, a software engineer-turned-bomb-maker often referred to as “India’s Bin Laden”, was arrested after a brief exchange of fire from Ghazipur in Delhi, said the police, calling it a breakthrough just before Republic Day celebrations on Friday.
‘We have found pistols and documents on Qureshi; he was trying to revive the SIMI and the Indian Mujahideen” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Pramod Kushwaha. Qureshi went to Nepal with fake documents and was living there for many years.
He also went to Saudi Arabia between 2013 and 2015 and returned to India to revive the terror network, said police.
Across India, police had been searching for Abdul Subhan Qureshi, also known as ‘Tauqeer’, for the past few years. Qureshi, also described by investigators as a “techie bomber”, is closely linked to the banned Students’ Islamic Movement of India or SIMI.
Qureshi has been accused of plotting the blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat on July 26, 2008. As many as 21 bombs were planted in tiffin carriers and motorcycles in busy markets, bus stations and even hospitals where the injured were being treated. Qureshi, a father of three, had given police the slip several times. He was reportedly traced in Bangladesh but the police couldn’t catch him.
Qureshi has been on the most-wanted list of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly planning the blast in Bangalore in 2014, the serial blasts in Delhi in 2010 and the local train bombings in Mumbai in 2006.
The 46-year-old studied in Mumbai and reportedly worked in software companies before being recruited by SIMI. Qureshi’s parents came to Mumbai from Uttar Pradesh for work.