Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 17:
With the arrest of Md Abdur Rehman Katki, a terror suspect with alleged al Qaeda links, the Odisha government and the police administration in the state are on a security overdrive.
“This operation was undertaken on the basis of intelligence inputs provided by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) at the national level. Odisha Police is vigilant both from the intelligence angle as well as response angle. The department has already issued instructions on how to raise our preparedness for urban terrorism and as well as for such type of incidents. If required we will revisit that,” said Asit Tripathy, secretary Home department here today.
Tripathy said that the state has two anti-terrorism squads under the Special Operation Group and one squad under the Commissionerate Police. The state government, which so far dealt with mostly left wing extremists, is now having to contend with terror-related developments, added.
On the other hand, the twin city commissionerate police have proposed the government for constituting a special cell on the lines of Delhi Police in the state.
“We have given a proposal to the state government for constituting a special cell in Odisha on the lines of Delhi Police. This cell will mainly keep a watch over terrorist activities and organized crime in the state,” informed R P Sharma, twin city police commissioner here today.
The commissionerate police had made the proposal for constitution of such a cell following allegations of terror links and activities in the state on several occasions, Sharma said.
“Delhi Police investigation revealed the link of Abdul Rehman with Kafeel Ahmed, a Bengaluru-based techie who succumbed to burn injuries in a failed car bomb attack at Glasgow airport in Scotland,” Sharma said.
Sharma said Rehman was earlier arrested for alleged involvement in an incident at Shahi Masjid inside Killa Fort in Cuttack in February 2011.
The police commissioner said the madrasa (Islamic seminary) run by the suspected terrorist in Tangi area of Cuttack where around 80 children, mostly from Jharkhand, are studying was under scrutiny.
Sources said police have detained Rehman’s three associates running the madrasa.
Security has been beefed up at major installations across the state including the Biju Patnaik International Airport here.
Besides deploying additional security personnel around the 12th century Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri, special arrangements have been made at places like railway station area, Jagannath Pradhan, a senior police officer at Puri, said.
Meanwhile, a local court in Delhi today allowed Delhi Police to take Rehman Katki on a 12-day remand for interrogations. Rehman Katki was produced at the Patiala court today.
Delhi Police had taken him on a two-day transit remand following his arrest from his residence at Paschimkacch village near Jagatpur in Cuttack district in the wee hours yesterday. He was flown to New Delhi in a special flight from the Biju Patnaik International Airport here yesterday at 9.30 pm.
Notably, he has been charged under Sec 18, 18 (B), 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for suspected links with AQIS (al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent).