Published On: Mon, Oct 2nd, 2023

Arrested ISIS terrorist Shahnawaz converted his wife to Islam: Delhi police

New Delhi: The Special Cell of Delhi Police on Monday said that the suspected ISIS terrorist Shahnawaz, who has been arrested, converted his wife Basanti Patel to Islam adding that the NIA’s most wanted was a mining engineer from the prestigious Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology.

Shahnawaz was briefly caught by Pune Police on the intervening night of July 17-18

As per police, Shahnawaz was arrested from Jaitpur in South Delhi earlier today. Apart from him, two persons, also carrying bounty on their heads by the National Investigation Agency, were arrested.

Addressing a press briefing, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) HS Dhaliwal, said, “Last month NIA declared award on three persons who have alleged involvement in blasts cases. Of them, Mohammad Shahnawaz, the main accused, has been arrested with his two associates– Mohammad Rizwan Ashraf and Mohammad Arshad Warsi.”

“Ashraf has been arrested from Lucknow, while Arshad was nabbed from Moradabad,” the police officer added. Dhaliwal said that bomb-making literature, sent from Pakistan-based handlers, and other incriminating materials were recovered from Shahnawaz’s hideouts. “Several explosives-making materials including, elementary, plastic tubes, and iron pipes, were recovered. (Apart from it) Pistol, cartridges, and bomb-making literature sent from Pak-based handlers, were (also) recovered,” the Special CP (Special Cell) said.

Police said that initial interrogation revealed that these people, conducted elaborate recce in Western Ghats, southern India, including Hubbali, Dharwad, and Ahmedabad in Gujarat to establish their hideouts. While responding to media queries, Dhaliwal said, “Shahnawaz is a mining engineer from Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology. His wife, Basanti Patel, is converted to Islam and is now known as Mariam.”

According to police, the three wanted suspected terrorists were produced before the court earlier in the morning and have been sent to seven days of police custody. Last month, the NIA released pictures of four terror suspects, including that of Shahnawaz, wanted in the Pune ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) module case and declared a reward money of Rs 3 lakh each for credible information on them leading to their arrest. The agency has said that the identity of the informant will be kept confidential.

Shahnawaz was briefly caught by Pune Police on the intervening night of July 17-18 when he was trying to steal a motorcycle in the Kothrud area of Pune. During investigation, it had come to light that a foreign-based handler had possibly put Shahnawaz in touch with two other terror operatives with instructions to execute a terror strike.

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