Top Indian militant arrested

DHAKA: Police in Bangladesh have arrested a suspected militant wanted by Indian authorities for 14 years, Dhaka's police chief said Saturday.

Mufti Sheikh Obaidullah, 45, who has links with the Kashmir-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was picked up at a hideout in the capital, Dhaka police commissioner A.K.M Shahidul Haq told AFP.

"He is a top Indian terror suspect and has been sought by Indian intelligence for many years. He came to Bangladesh in 1995 and has been teaching in different madrassas (seminaries) across the country," he said.

"He was encouraging students to join jihad and we have information that he was training militants here," he added.

Haq said Obaidullah was born in India's West Bengal state and studied in the Deoband Madrassa in Uttar Pradesh state.

He fought in the Afghan war alongside the Mujahedeen against Soviet forces.

Obaidullah was paraded before press in Dhaka late Friday and told reporters that before taking refuge in Bangladesh, he had been a member of Pakistan-based militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI).

Haq said police had investigated call lists from Obaidullah's six mobile phones which indicated links with Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for a number of deadly suicide attacks in India, including those in Mumbai in November.