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Al-Qaida’s sleeper cell busting

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Jamshedpur, Jan. 28: After suspected member of terror group Al-Qaida’s “sleeper cell” Ahmed Masood Akram Sheikh alias Masood (38) was arrested along with one of his associates Nasim Akhtar earlier this week, a delegation of religious and political outfits met the East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal here on Thursday.

The delegation was led by Qazi Daud, head of Imarat Saria, and Firoz Khan, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) district unit president, submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner demanding that he should ensure that innocents are not harassed vis--vis interrogations and by other means.

The delegation demanded that the administration must inform the family members of people, who are detained on suspicion of being indulged in terrorist activities, regarding their whereabouts and in which condition they are kept.

The memorandum has also demanded that due to a handful of people, the whole Muslim community should not be seen as militants.

The delegation that met the deputy commissioner included Mahmood Akram Sheikh, elder brother of the arrested “sleeper cell” Masood, Mohammed Noor, who had been arrested with explosives from his house in Azadnagar while allegedly working for militant outfit Laskar-e-Toiba, and clerics of about a dozen mosques in the city.

The deputy commissioner, Kaushal confirmed that a delegation from several minority religious organizations had met him and handed over a memorandum today.

It may be recalled that on January 16 Delhi police arrested Abdul Sami, a resident of Dhatkidih in Bistupur, for allegedly having link with al-Qaida.

On January 22, ATS, Jharkhand arrested Masood and Billal from Dhatkidih and Nasim from Azadnagar in Mango. On Monday the district police arrested Masood, who is allegedly a member of the `sleeper cell” of al-Qaida, and said that he possessed a pistol.

The police also charged Nasim with supplying arms and ammunition to an al-Qaida contact in Bangalore having smuggling them from Munger in Bihar.

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