(Eds: Updates with additional details)
New Delhi, Jan 9 (PTI) Ahead of Republic Day, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Thursday arrested three men, who were inspired by global terror organisation ISIS and were planning a terror strike in the National Capital Region (NCR) or Uttar Pradesh, officials said.
The three men were arrested following an exchange of fire in the city's Wazirabad area, they added.
They were identified as Khaja Moideen (52), Abdul Samad (28) and Syed Ali Nawaz (32), all residents of Tamil Nadu, police said.
Two of them were on conditional bail in the sensational murder case of KP Suresh Kumar, a Hindu Munnani leader, they added.
The three men arrived in Delhi from Tamil Nadu via Nepal with a design to carry out a terror strike in the NCR or Uttar Pradesh, the police said, adding that afterwards, they had a plan to flee to Nepal and further to Pakistan.
"We received information that the three men had arrived in Delhi from Nepal, taken a room on rent and also procured arms and ammunition. A trap was laid near the Wazirabad Bridge and they were apprehended from the spot after a brief exchange of fire early Thursday morning," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said.
A preliminary interrogation revealed that Moideen had links with the ISIS. After being released on conditional bail in the murder case of KP Suresh Kumar, he had chalked out a detailed plan to revive the terror outfit's network in India through his associates, he added.
Moideen held several closed-door meetings at his various hideouts to indoctrinate youngsters and make them pledge their allegiance to the ISIS, the officer said, adding that they were being guided by a foreign-based handler.
Moideen, along with his associates Syed Ali Nawaz, Abdul Samad, Abdul Shameem, Thowfiq and Jaffar Ali, had decided to abscond from their respective places simultaneously. Initially, they had divided themselves into two groups of three persons each, the DCP said.
Moideen was also associated with one Haja Fakkruddin, a native of Cuddalore and the first man from Tamil Nadu who was believed to have joined the IS after quitting a lucrative job in Singapore, the police said.
Samad joined the Popular Front of India (PFI) after getting influenced by the inflammatory speeches of Moideen, who at the time was a district organiser of the Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP), a Muslim organisation in Tamil Nadu.
Moideen, Nawaz and Samad went to Kathmandu in Nepal after illegally crossing the border with the help of fake documents. After setting up a base in the neighbouring country, they came to Delhi through the Indo-Nepal border, the police said.
Their hideout and weapons in Delhi were arranged by the foreign-based handler through one of his contacts here, they added.
Sources said Moideen was married to one Indira Gandhi, but he left her after turning radical.
Of the six men who fled after the killing of Suresh Kumar, one was suspected to be involved in the killing of a Tamil Nadu police sub-inspector, Wilson, near the state's border with Kerala on Wednesday, they added. PTI NIT AMP RC