68-year-old convict of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, Jalees Ansari who went missing on Thursday morning while being on parole, was arrested in Kanpur on Friday, police said. Director-General of Uttar Pradesh Police OP Singh addressed a news briefing to announce the same. According to him, Ansari was proceeding towards the railway station from a mosque. DG STF had inputs on him and he has been brought to Lucknow.
OP Singh said, "He was on parole for 21 days from the Ajmer Central Prison, Rajasthan, and during the parole period, Jalees was ordered to visit the Agripada Police Station every day between 10.30 am and 12 pm to mark his attendance. He was expected to surrender before prison authorities on Friday but he disappeared. Maharashtra ATS briefed IG STF yesterday. He activated his team and arrested Ansari and he has been brought to Lucknow now. It is a massive victory for UP Police especially the STF (Special Task Force)."
While describing the arrest process, OP Singh said it was very "dramatic" He said, "Ansari was walking towards a railway station holding the hand of a child. Police followed him when he left the masjid, identified him, confronted him and arrested him."
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra ATS and the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police launched a massive manhunt to trace him and different teams were formed for the same. Search operations were conducted at various bus depots and railway stations. Different CCTV footages were also scanned. The Mumbai Police had alerted airport management and security agencies to stay vigilant.
Ansari did not visit the police station on Thursday during the designated time. In the afternoon, his 35-year-old son Jaid Ansari approached the police station with a complaint about his "missing" father, officials said. According to the complaint, Jalees Ansari woke up in the early hours and told family members he is going to offer namaz, but did not return home. On his complaint, the Agripada Police registered a missing case, he said. Jalees, who is known as Doctor Bomb, was allegedly connected with terror outfits like SIMI and Indian Mujahidin and taught terror groups how to make bombs, he said. He was also questioned by the NIA in 2011 in connection with the 2008 bomb blast in Mumbai, he said.