Indian police arrest Muslim cleric suspected in Jaipur blasts

New Delhi - Police in India's north-western state of Rajasthan have arrested a Muslim cleric suspected of being involved in last month's deadly serial bombings in the state capital, Jaipur, news reports said Monday.

Police picked up Mohammed Ilyas, the imam of a mosque in Bharatpur, a city nearly 200 kilometres east of Jaipur, in the first significant arrest in the blasts, which killed more than 60 people, the CNN-IBN network reported.

Ilyas is suspected of having links with the banned Students Islamic Movement of India and the Bangladesh-based Islamic militant group Harkat-ul Jehadi Islami (HuJI), which are suspected in the attacks.

The police had detained Ilyas for interrogation on May 26 and brought him to Jaipur Monday after formally arresting him on charges of possessing fake passports.

Fake documents, a computer and several diaries were also seized from his possession.

On May 22, police in New Delhi also arrested Mohammad Abdul Rehman, a suspected HuJI operative in connection with the blasts.

Although a little-known terrorist outfit called the Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attacks in e-mails to media organizations, intelligence agencies suspect the HuJI masterminded the Jaipur blasts on May 13.

Indian security agencies blame the HuJI for carrying out serial bombings in northern Uttar Pradesh in November, which left 13 dead and wounded more than 40. The same terrorist group was suspected in a bombing at a Sufi Muslim shrine in Ajmer last year, which claimed two lives. (dpa)

Business News: