x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Indian police make arrests for Mumbai attacks

Two men are being held on suspicion of supplying phone cards to militants who staged the deadly attacks.

Indian police said Saturday they had arrested two men for allegedly supplying mobile phone cards to militants who staged the deadly Mumbai attacks. The men were arrested late yesterday in the eastern city of Kolkata "for allegedly providing SIM cards to the terrorists in the Mumbai attacks," Javed Shamim, a senior police official, told reporters. "They are in police custody and being questioned," he said.

The arrests are believed to be the first in connection with the attacks late last month, other than the capture of one of the militants during the 60-hour siege of India's financial hub. Mr Shamim identified the two men as Tousif Rahaman and Sheikh Muktar. "Tousif, who was living in the central part of the city, bought about 40 SIM cards from the city, two of which are believed to have been given to the terrorists," Shamim said.

He said that the other man was from Indian Kashmir, where militants have been waging a nearly two-decade battle against New Delhi's rule. The attack by 10 gunmen against multiple targets in Mumbai, including the landmark Taj Mahal hotel, killed 163 people including 26 foreigners. Nine militants were killed. Police said Rahaman used a dead relative's identity documents to procure the phone cards from several shops in the city.

"He sold the SIM cards to Muktar," a street vendor who also drives an auto-rickshaw, Shamim said. The two men have been charged with forgery and cheating, he said. *AFP