New Delhi: Several intelligence units have been carrying out searches across the country against people associated with terrorist organisations like Daesh* or al-Qaeda* who may be planning to carry out terror attacks in India.

With the arrest of three suspected terrorists following an exchange of fire, police on Thursday claimed to have busted a Daesh-inspired module planning a terror strike in India’s national capital city.

According to law enforcement, the terrorists are part of a Tamil Nadu-based Daesh module involving preparation to carry out militant attacks in the country as part of a bid to establish Islamic rule.

The three were identified as Khaja Moideen (52), Syed Ali Navas (32), and Abdul Samad (28) and hail from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

On 9 January, specific inputs were received that the absconding terrorists had shifted to Delhi from Nepal and taken a room on rent, as well as had also procured arms and ammunition, said Pramod Singh Kushwaha, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Special Cell.

“Acting on the inputs a trap was laid near Wazirabad Bridge of Delhi. The police team acted swiftly and apprehended three terrorists from the spot after a brief exchange of fire in the early morning hours”, the officer said.

Preliminary interrogation has revealed that accused Moideen has links to Daesh (ISIS). He was released on conditional bail in the murder case of KP Suresh Kumar, the chief of a religious and cultural organisation in southern India, police said, and he had detailed plans to revive a Daesh network in India.

The officer also revealed that several rounds of closed-door meetings were organised by Moideen in different hideouts to indoctrinate and also to pledge allegiance to Daesh. They were guided by a foreign-based handler.

“Khaja Moideen along with Syed Ali Nawaz, Abdul Samad, Abdul Shameem, Thowfiq and Jaffar Ali decided to abscond from their respective places simultaneously. Initially, they divided themselves into two groups of three persons each. Khaja Moideena along with Syed Ali Nawaz and Abdul Samad went to Kathmandu, Nepal after illegally crossing the border with fake documents”, the officer said.

Police said that after setting up a base in Nepal as a hideout, the terrorists came to Delhi after crossing over from the porous Indo-Nepal border.

“In Delhi, hideout and weapons were arranged by their foreign based handler through one of his contacts in city”, the police officer said, adding that further questioning is on-going.