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Gujarat CM links IS suspect to Ahmed Patel; Cong leader rubbishes charge

The ATS claimed that suspects were planning to attack a Jewish synagogue in Khadia area of Ahmedabad

IANS  |  Gandhinagar/New Delhi 

Congress leader Ahmed Patel arrives at the Parliament House in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
Congress leader Ahmed Patel arrives at the Parliament House in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Chief Minister on Friday night demanded resignation of veteran from the alleging his possible links to a suspected terrorist arrested earlier in the week from his home district of Bharuch. rubbished the charge.

Rupani, who also sought Vice President Rahul Gandhi's clarification on the matter, was referring to Mohammed Qasim Stimberwala, one of the two alleged IS operatives arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad from Surat on Wednesday.

Stimberwala had resigned recently as an eco-cardiogram technician in the and Heart Institute in Ankleshwar, which Patel had helped grow into a modern facility.

Patel was one of the trustees during the hospital's formative years as a modern hospital and the only one in the entire Bharuch district with latest equipment and technology with facilities for heart surgery. He had resigned as a trustee in 2014 facilitating a new board of trustees to take over the facility.

The ATS, which picked up Stimberwala and Ubed Ahmed Mirza, claimed that they were planning to attack a synagogue in area of Ahmedabad and had even carried out reconnaissance of their target.

While Mirza was a practicing lawyer at the Surat district court, Stimberwala worked as a technician at the Ankleshwar hospital.

Rupani told reporters at the 9.30 p.m. press conference, which was delayed by more than three hours, that Stimberwala, caught by Intelligence Bureau and security agencies, was working at a Bharuch hospital where Patel had been a trustee and though resigning after UPA lost power, "still oversees in the working of the hospital".

The hospital's website has a list of eight trustees but Patel's name does not figure in the list.

Rupani claimed that the "arrest of a person working in a hospital where was a patron gave rise to several questions as how did a terrorist get a job in a hospital having close links with Ahmed Patel? Who got him the job? Whether he was aware of their activities?"

"The questions arise because the terrorist had resigned or was to quit just two days ahead of his arrest. This arouses suspicion. We are not levying any allegations but we just want Patel and to clarify. If people are convinced, then it is ok," he said.

He went on to say that if the terrorists had not been caught, they would have carried out planned attacks on "Hindu religious heads and synagogue". The ATS however has mentioned only a synagogue during its investigations and no Hindu religious heads, as Rupani alleged.

Ahmed Patel, in a series of tweets, said the allegations by the BJP were completely baseless.

"My party and I appreciate the ATS's effort to nab the two terrorists. I demand strict and speedy action against them.

"We request that matters of security should not be politicised keeping elections in mind," he said and also urged: "Let's not divide peace loving Gujaratis while fighting terrorism."

One of the trustees, Jayesh Patel, clarified that Stimberwala had joined the hospital six months ago, after having worked with Wockhardt and a couple of other hospitals.

"He had resigned on October 4 and relieved on October 24 according to his service conditions. He had said that he was leaving due to a better opportunity," he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, October 28 2017. 09:27 IST