India has arrested a Kashmiri militant who allegedly planned and funded the triple bombings in New Delhi last month that killed 60 people, police said on Sunday.
Delhi Police commissioner K.K. Paul said Tariq Ahmad Dar, a key member of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militant group, was arrested Thursday in the Kashmiri city of Srinagar and brought to the capital New Delhi on Friday for interrogation.
Paul alleged Dar was the chief conspirator and financier in the attacks though he was not accused of participating in any of the three bombings. He said “there is sufficient evidence to prove the conspiracy,” based on what Dar had told interrogators.
Paul said it was “quite clear” from the investigations and Dar’s interrogation that Laskhar was behind the near-simultaneous Oct. 29 bombings in crowded markets that killed 60 people and injured more than 200 on the eve of the major Hindu festival of Diwali, when thousands of people were doing last-minute shopping.
“They wanted to create maximum impact, perhaps,” he said.
Accused of 'intimate contacts' with group
Dar has not been formally charged but police have obtained court permission to detain him for 14 days for further investigation to help catch at least four other suspects, including the people who planted the bombs, Paul said.
Dar was not in New Delhi on the day of the bombings, but he is “an important financier, conspirator and coordinator of Lashkar,” said Paul, adding that he works as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company in Srinagar.
“But he has intimate contacts with Laskhar, and he works as their facilitator,” he said.
Lashkar-e-Tayyaba is one of the most prominent of Muslim militant groups fighting Indian security forces in Kashmir, the only Muslim majority state in predominantly Hindu India.
More than 60,000 people have been killed in the fighting since 1989 in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim the territory in its entirety, and the militant groups want either independence for the state or its merge with Pakistan.
Paul said Dar received a deposit of about $11,000 in his bank account from abroad a few days after the bombings. He is alleged to have been in New Delhi between Oct. 4 and 6 when he scouted the locations where the bombs were to be planted.
At least seven other people are believed to have been involved in the conspiracy, four of whom have been identified by name, Paul said. He said he could not provide more information because the investigations are in progress.