MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Monday shot dead a suspected terrorist and arrested two accomplices allegedly involved in the 2008 Ahmedabad bombings.
Confirming the details of the encounter that occurred at Aurangabad, Maharashtra ATS chief Rakesh Maria said that Police officials went to arrest the three suspected terrorists who were hiding in Himayat Bagh area in Aurangabad. “The suspects opened fire at the police team injuring one police constable in the shoulder. The ATS team then returned fire, killing Khaleel Khilji and arrested Abrar Sheikh and Shakeel Ahmed.” He added that ATS had been chasing the wanted terrorists for few months.
The encounter occurred near Uddhav Rao Patil Chowk in Himayat Bagh area of Aurangabad around 12.30 pm; while Mohammed Abrar and Khaleel, were arrested in an injured condition after the encounter Police also recovered four 7.65mm revolvers and 90 rounds of bullets from the trio.
Sources in ATS said that the trio – Abrar Sheikh, Shakeel Ahmed and Khalil Khilji – are accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad (Gujarat) blasts and allegedly belong to the Abu Faisal group from Madhya Pradesh. One of the two arrested was also involved in a case of attempted murder of a Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Pramod Tiwari and a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activist Bhairo Singh Tak. Mohammad Abrar’s name figured in the chargesheet of the Ahmedabad 2008 blast case and he was in touch with Indian Mujahideen operative Tauqeer along with another alleged criminal Abu Faisal, who is presently in the custody of Madhya Pradesh Police.
The 2008 Ahmedabad bombings were a series of 21 bomb blasts that rocked Ahmedabad July 26, 2008 within a span of 70 minutes. A total of 56 people were killed and over 200 people injured in the blasts blamed on the Indian Mujahideen militant organisation.