Mumbai Police on Wednesday released photographs of three alleged terrorists, out of five, that it claimed belonged to banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and had entered Mumbai.
The three, however, are present in Lahore, with two of them running businesses and one serving as a security guard at the city’s famed electronics market Hafeez Centre.
According to a Times of India report, Indian intelligence agencies warned the Mumbai police that five LeT operatives have sneaked into the city and are plotting to attack vital installations, possibly through the sea route.
The alert was sent on Sunday along with colour photographs of the five terrorists, all of whom are in the age of group of 25-30 years. Following the warning, police commissioner Arup Patnaik called a high-level meeting on security on Monday to discuss heightening of security at important installations, the TOI quoted sources as saying.
A senior police officer who attended the commissioner’s meeting said the central alert declares that the terrorists plan is to “sabotage” key installations close to the coast by “hiring a ferry from the Gateway of India” and “attacking them from the sea.”
The terrorists, the officer added, infiltrated the country earlier by land through the borders of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir. They are carrying on them fake Indian identity cards, copies of which have been sent by central intelligence agencies to the Mumbai police.
Terrorists or traders
The individuals in the photographs, however, are purportedly working at Hafeez Centre and approached the local police station for security after the photographs were released, sources said.
The individuals were identified as businessmen Atif Butt and Mehtab Butt, and security guard Baber.
They approached the president of the shopping mall’s association, Muhammad Fayyaz Butt, who strongly condemned the “irresponsible and biased attitude of India.”
Atif Butt is running a mobile phone business, Sun Mobiles, in shop number 25 at lower ground floor while Mehtab Butt is running a business in the name of Al Hafeez in shop number 26 on the same floor, Fayyaz said while speaking to The Express Tribune late Wednesday night.
Baber performs his duties as a security guard at Hafeez Centre, he added.
Two of the three individuals do not even have a passport, he said, adding that he will raise the issue at all forums.
Criticising Indian authorities for releasing the individuals’ pictures and branding them terrorists, Fayyaz asked the Indian government to apologise immediately.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.