Ahmedabad: The Gujarat ATS has arrested a 1996 terror case accused from Jharkhand who had been wanted along with Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and gangster Abu Salem in connection with the seizure of a consignment of arms and explosives in Mehsana, a release said on Sunday.
Acting on a tip-off that Abdul Majid Kutti, an aide of Dawood Ibrahim who has been wanted in the 1996 case was residing in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, a team of the Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS) rushed there and arrested him, a release said.
The accused had changed his name to Mohammad Kamal, it said.
Kutti alias Kamal has "accepted" during interrogation that he was wanted in the 1996 case, the ATS said.
In December 1996, the Gujarat Police had arrested three persons and seized four kgs RDX, ten detonators, 130 pistols, 113 magazines and 750 cartridges in Mehsana.
According to the ATS, the consignment of explosives was being smuggled into India from Pakistan through Rajasthan's Barmer border.
The police had registered an FIR on December 23, 1996 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Arms Act and the Explosives Act against the arrested trio- Mohammad Fazal Mohammad Usman from Ajmer, Anwar Kureshi from Mumbai, and Shakeel Ibrahim Kureshi from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
Later, a court in Mehsana issued an arrest warrant against Kutti, Dawhhod Ibrahim, Abu Salem, and others after their role in the case came to fore, the ATS said.
The ATS further said the seized explosives and arms were supposed to be used to carry out terror activities in Gujarat and Maharashtra on Republic Day.
"The ATS had launched a probe against Abdul Majid Kutti. ATS DSP KK Patel received a tip-off that Kutti, a wanted terrorist, has changed his name to Mohammad Kamal, and was living in Jamshedpur in Jharkhand. A team of ATS rushed to Jharkhand, arrested him and brought him here. When interrogated, he accepted being wanted in the 1996 case," the release said.
Kutti, whose family is from Kerala, was born in Mumbai in 1962. He had lived Dubai between 1978 and 1984 before returning to Mumbai where he became involved in gold smuggling and customs theft after getting in touch with Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Shakeel, Abu Salem, Tiger Memon, and other members of the underworld, it said.
Kutti used to frequent Dubai where he met Abu Salem in 1996, who asked him to take the delivery of explosives and arms from Ajmer for terror activities on Republic Day in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the ATS said, adding that Kutti had sent Fazal (Mohammad Fazal Mohammad Usman) to receive the delivery of explosives in Mehsana.
After Fazal and two others were arrested and explosives and arms seized, Kutti fled to Bangkok on the direction of Salem, and stayed there till 1999.
A court later sentenced Fazal and two others to life imprisonment.
Meanwhile, Kutti got in touch with one Mamumiyan from Porbandar in Gujarat and began gold smuggling, the release said.
Kutti also came to know about one Mohammad Inam Ali from Jamshedpur, who helped him get a fake passport from Patna in the name of Mohammad Kamal.
Using this passport, Kutti travelled from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, where he worked in the textile industry, the ATS said.
He returned to India in May 2019 and started living in Jamshedpur under the fake identity, the release added.
Salem, a convict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts' case, is currently undergoing a life sentence.