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Khan, who was linked to serial blasts in UP, Gujarat, Delhi and had escaped during the Batla House encounter, was on the run for a decade. He was on the radar of various state police forces and the NIA.
The Congress "political hypocrisy" stands exposed, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Thursday after a suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist, who had escaped the 2008 Batla House encounter, was arrested from the Indo-Nepal border.
The minority affairs minister stressed that the Batla House episode was related to national security and "not religion". He further charged the Congress with politicising a "sensitive" issue of national security.
The Special Cell was working on the leads gathered from an interrogation of arrested terrorists with links to the Indian Mujahideen(IM) and other terror outfits that led to arrest of Khan from Indo-Nepal border Wednesday evening, said P S Kushwah, DCP (Special Cell).
"During the past few months, inputs were received through different sources that absconded terrorists of IM and SIMI have set up their base in Nepal and are frequently visiting India to indoctrinate unemployed youth," he said.
It was learnt that the outfits were sourcing new recruits as many of their top leaders were already arrested by police.
"They have been planning the revival of the weak and scattered network of Indian Mujahideen," he said.
In the meantime, the Special Cell team headed by ACP Govind Sharma arrested SIMI ideologue Abdul Subhan alias Abdus Subhan alias Tauqeer in January 2018.
Tauqeer was teaching in Nepal along with Khan and he provided valuable inputs to Special Cell about his movements.
A few days ago, a specific information was received that Khan will be coming to UP from Banbasa, Indo-Nepal border, to meet an associate, the officer said.
A team of Special Cell including inspectors Chandrika Prasad, Amul Tyagi, Ravinder Joshi and Satish Rana, moved to the area near Banbasa Indo-Nepal border and laid a trap.
Khan was apprehended at about 5.20 PM on February 13, near Sharda Inter College, Banbasa, Nepal Road, after a sustained surveillance near the border area, police said.
He was wanted by the NIA in a case for conspiring with other members of IM to commit terrorist acts in India. He was also wanted by police in Delhi, Gujarat, UP, Rajasthan for serial blasts in 2007-2008.