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A’bad DCB identifies market fire as terror plot, nab 2
Officials received chatter from intelligence that the Revdi Bazaar blaze had been an act of terrorism masterminded by a foreign suspect
Ahmedabad: A new terror module was uncovered by Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) after city police commissioner Sanjay Srivastava received a line of chatter from an intelligence agency a few days ago.
As per the investigation conducted by officials, the fire incident at the cloth market in Kalupur area of the city on March 20 this year, was an act of terrorism.
A team led by assistant commissioner of police (ACP) DP Chudasama successfully decoded chatter, “Kalupur wala kaam ho gaya hai” (The work in Kalupur is done).
According to officials, the mastermind behind the crime may have been a suspected Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agent. The suspect allegedly paid three accused Rs1.50 lakh to carry out the arson in the market.
During primary investigation, the DCB team discovered that only one incident had occurred in the Kalupur police station area in the recent past, which was the fire incident. Goods worth Rs45 lakh were destroyed in the fire, which engulfed 10 to 15 shops.
Two accused were arrested by DCB for the arson, namely Bhupendra Pravin Vanzara and Anil Khatik, after officials learnt that the fire was not an accident but arson from the CCTV footage.
The third accused Athik Pal tested positive for COVID-19 and will be formally put into custody post recovery.
After tracing the two-wheeler vehicle on which the three accused arrived in Revdi Bazaar to pour petrol on shops and set them on fire, they were able to apprehend Amraiwadi resident Vanzara.
He confessed to the crime and informed the DCB that the plot had been planned and executed online after he came in contact with a Bababhai Ali’s Bababhai company during the lockdown last year.
Vanzara was reportedly in a deep financial crisis and Bababhai offered to bail him out if he murdered a person.
The former asked for a weapon to carry out the crime and was asked to contact a person in Madhya Pradesh for the same.
When Vanzara realized he had to pay Rs25,000 for the weapon, he asked Bababhai for the money, who transferred the amount.
He then travelled to Madhya Pradesh to collect the weapon but was caught by police in Kheda while returning home and thrown in prison for a week.
After his release, Vanzara established contact with Bababhai, who asked him to carry out the arson attack.
Therefore, he sought the help of his friend Anil Khatik and Athik Pal to torch shops in the cloth market on March 20.
On digging deeper, it was uncovered that Mumbai-based Kanti Angadia had received Rs15,00,000 from Dubai-based Khoja company, from which Rs1.5 lakh were transferred to Vanzara in Ahmedabad.
According to officials of the DCB technical surveillance team, Bababhai mostly conducts operations from Karachi, but his location constantly changes from one nation to another on the internet.