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Sameer Sardana in ATS net: Laptop scan reveals Goa terror suspect researched bomb blasts in India

The terror suspect who was caught at the busy Vasco junction with a laptop, five passports, a spy camera and a mobile phone, has turned out to the son of an army major-general. A senior official of the Anti-Terrorist Squad said that the suspect Sameer Sardana confirmed reports emanating last night of his parentage. Meanwhile, a team from the National Investigating Agency arrived in Goa this morning, and has been interrogating Sardana, who was detained on Sunday night, when the Vasco Railway police noticed his very suspicious behaviour, and formally arrested on Monday

The suspect had arrived in Goa in January and was staying at the railway dormitory room, having booked the resting room on several occasions in the past two weeks. He had made several trips to Goa, but always stayed at the dormitory of the Vasco railway station, which he booked online from Pune. After detaining the suspect, the ATS officials handed him over to the Vasco Railway Police. Sardana was later booked under Section 41 of the CrPC.

Bed D-2 which was frequently booked by Sameer Sardana during his visit to Vasco railway station. Image provided by sources

Bed D-2 which was frequently booked by Sameer Sardana during his visit to Vasco railway station. Sujay Gupta

Fresh revelations

Firstpost has some details emanating from his interrogation.

The ATS managed to crack the password of his laptop and decode emails and documents. It has been found that he was frequently surfing and downloading information about past bomb blasts in the country.

It is understood that Sardana had been making frequent trips to Goa on trains from North India, like the Amravati Express and Goa Express — always travelling in the AC compartment. During this visit, he checked into his dormitory room, booked online from an IP address traced back to Pune.

At time when the other beds of the dormitory were unoccupied, Sardana used to shut the main door of the dormitory and stay locked inside for hours.

The caretaker of the Vasco railway station, told Firstpost, “I have never seen passengers like him. He was very arrogant and demanding. Whenever he used to enter the room, he first wanted the AC remote and then, the TV remote. If there was any delay in responding to his demands, he used to shout at me. But what surprised me was the way he used to keep the dormitory room locked from inside and took 15 minutes to just open the door as if he was trying to hide things from me.”

Sardana threatened railway officials

Meanwhile, two ticket examiners of the Vasco railway station — Yogendra Rathi and Kuldeep Kumar — have lodged a police complaint that Sardana had threatened that both of them with “dire consequences” when they started questioning him about his suspicious behaviour — spending hours on his laptop at the station without looking at or speaking to anyone, not boarding any trains and then confining himself to the dormitory by locking the main door. According to them, Sardana was detained and questioned and released on Sunday night. However when his conduct became increasingly suspicious, the ATS was called in on Monday morning.

The ATS then formally arrested him and has been interrogating him since. It was also disclosed that Sardana, in the last two weeks, had booked railway accommodation on six occasions — he booked a single room once and a dormitory bed on the other occasions.

Sardana is based in Mumbai and has worked for multinational firms with postings in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Police investigations have also revealed that Sardana, who is Hindu by birth, has been practicing Islam.

Updated Date: Feb 05, 2016 08:08 AM

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