‘Terror chief’ is teacher who named his niece after ‘right path’

Nov 22 2013, 04:20 IST
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‘We are staunch Muslims, but not terrorists,’ says family. ‘We are staunch Muslims, but not terrorists,’ says family.
SummaryChhattisgarh Police say SIMI man carried out Bodhgaya and Patna blasts.

The Chhattisgarh Police have claimed that they have cracked the Bodhgaya and Patna blasts cases, arrested the chief planner of the attacks, and “completely eliminated” a SIMI module that planned the bombings.

Police have, however, failed to establish any link between this group and the Indian Mujahideen (IM), and stressed that “at present it seems it was an independent SIMI faction”.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), with whom the Chhattisgarh Police claimed to have worked, had earlier named Haider Ali alias Abdullah as the “mastermind” of the two Bihar bombings. However, the Chhattisgarh Police have claimed that “Haider Ali actually worked under Raipur-based Umer Siddiqui”.

Umer Siddiqui was among eight men arrested by the Chhattisgarh ATS last week. The police have now claimed that Siddiqui has confessed to having been the leader of the terror module.

“Umer has told us that he planned Patna and Bodh Gaya blasts. Haider Ali used to report to him,” DGP Ramniwas told a press conference he addressed in Raipur along with ADG (Intelligence) Mukesh Gupta, Raipur IG G P Singh and DIG (Intelligence) Dipanshu Kabra on Wednesday.

Siddiqui, a 35-year-old private tutor, had been arrested hours after the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressed a rally here on November 14. Modi was the target of the terror module, the police said. “Umer has admitted that their plan was to attack Modi’s rallies. He and Haider had conducted a recce of Modi’s rallies in Kanpur, Delhi and Ambikapur and prepared the maps,” the DGP said.

According to Ramniwas, Siddiqui had confessed that “if an attack on the rally did not materialise, they would use a human bomb to target Modi”.

On Thursday, the family of Siddique completely rejected the police’s claims and said that leave alone planning a terrorist attack, he had not even slapped anyone in his life.

At the family’s home in Raipur’s Raja Talab area, Siddiqui’s 10-year-old niece announced her name proudly, adding that it had been given by her uncle. “Urooj-Hooda,” said the Class 4 student, as her aunt — Siddiqui’s wife — Saima Fatima stressed the spelling: “Urooj, not Uruj.” The little girl explained what Urooj-Hooda meant: “A girl who gives the right guidance, shows the right path.”

This niece was among over 500 children of the family and neighbourhood that the alleged mastermind of the Patna and Bodhgaya attacks named. Siddiqui has a PhD in Urdu from Nagpur University and a good command over English. Along with

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