The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), along with a special task force of the Uttar Pradesh Police, arrested Jalees Ansari aka ‘Dr Bomb’ in Kanpur on Friday after he jumped parole and was trying to escape via Nepal, police said here.
“Jalees Ansari was arrested when he was coming out from a mosque in Kanpur. He has been brought to Lucknow. It’s a big achievement of the UP Police,” said UP DGP O P Singh even as Mumbai police said that he will be brought to Mumbai.
Jalees (68), a resident of Mominpura in Agripada area of South Mumbai, had been convicted of carrying out two bomb blasts in trains in Rajasthan in December 1993 and was serving a life term in Ajmer Central Prison.
He was out on parole for 21 days and was expected to surrender before prison authorities on Friday. During the parole period, he was ordered to visit the Agripada Police Station every day between 10.30 am and 12 pm to mark his attendance. However, he didn’t report to the police station on Thursday. Police then registered a missing complaint and started a manhunt.
Various teams of officials from Maharashtra ATS and Mumbai Crime Branch were formed and search operations conducted at various bus depots and railway stations. CCTV footage of various locations that he was likely to visit too was scanned, said police.
According to his 35-year-old son Zahid, Jalees woke up early in the morning on Thursday and told his family members that he is going to offer Namaaz and left home at around 4 am. When he didn’t return till about 9 am, family members tried contacting him on his cell phone. However, his phone was switched off. The family members then contacted police and registered a “missing” complaint.
“He has already caused much trouble to the whole family. His escape has only added to the trouble. We wish he gets arrested soon,” Zahid said.
Born to a cotton mill worker, Ansari completed his education at Maratha College in Nagpada and then went to Sion Medical College. After a stint of private practice, he joined the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as a Junior Medical Officer. However, around 1985, he came in contact with the Tanzim Islahul Muslimeen (TIM), an organization committed to the defence of Muslims during communal riots.
TIM was formed by Azam Ghauri, who had flirted with the People’s War Group (PWG) before becoming a dreaded Lashkar-E-Taiba (LeT) operative, Abdul Karim ‘Tunda’, who later became a top LeT operative in India, and Abu Masood, a preacher from the Gorba community, to which Jalees belongs.
After his initiation into the fold by Ghauri, Tunda and Masood, Jalees soon acquired techniques of bomb-making and was came to be known as “Doctor Bomb”. He also worked for terror outfits like SIMI and Indian Mujahideen and taught terror groups how to make bombs.
He had been accused of plotting and executing several bomb blasts across the country in the early nineties to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid. He was questioned by the NIA in 2011 in connection with the 2008 bomb blast in Mumbai.
He allegedly helped set off a series of 43 explosions in Mumbai and Hyderabad and seven separate explosions on trains on December 6, 1993, the first anniversary of the Babri demolition. He was convicted for carrying out the train blasts and was serving life imprisonment, said police officials.