Monday, July 20, 2009

Akshardham suspect arrested at Hyderabad airport

Shoukatullah Ghouri, a suspect in the seven year old Aksharadham temple attack case, was taken to Gujarat by a police team after he was nabbed at the Hyderabad International Airport in a joint operation by the counter intelligence wing and the Hyderabad police.

Shoukat Ghouri, who alleged provided finance for the attack on Akashardham temple soon after the carnage in Gujarat, had arrived in Hyderabad along with his family from Saudi Arabia on Saturday when he was taken in to custody and shifted to an unknown place.

After officials of Hyderabad police, anti terrorist force OCTOPUS and counter intelligence wing questioned him about his role and whereabouts of his other wanted brother Farhatullah Ghouri, he was handed over to the Gujarat police team.

"He was not wanted in any case in Hyderabad but a warrant issued by a Gandhinagar court under Prevention of Terrorism Act was pending against him," the Hyderabad city police commissioner B Prasad Rao said.

After landing in an Amman Air flight from Saudi Arabia, as soon as he came out of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad, police surrounded him and made his sit in a separate vehicle. His wife Musharraf Shaheen and four children were shifted to a nearby farm house in another vehicle for searching her luggage. Shaheen, a resident of Kurmaguda in Hyderabad, said that the police seized a cheque of Rs 1 lakh and her daughter's educational certificate and a few other things from the luggage and allowed her to go home.

Shoukatullah Ghouri, known as Hafiz Sahab, was an Imam in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and had returned home after two and a half years for the treatment of his wife.

It may be recalled here that the attack by two terrorists on Aksharadham temple had left 30 people dead. The National Security Guards commandos had killed both the attackers. In 2006, the POTA Gujrat in Gandhinagar awarded death sentence to three accused and life imprisonment to ten others. The court issued a non bailable warrant against Shoukatullah in 2004 and he, along with two others, were shown as absconders.

Shoukatullah's brother Farhatullah Ghouri alias Abu Sufian is wanted by Hyderabad police in several terror related cases including the suicide attack on Hyderabad police task office in 2005 and earlier bomb blast outside Sai Baba temple in Hyderabad.

The police said that he was not directly involved in these cases, but was a mastermind and financer of such activities.


Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home