Police uncover plot to kidnap Indian cricket stars

Indian police have arrested a Pakistani who is accused of plotting to kidnap cricket stars Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly.

Indian police have arrested a Pakistani who is accused of plotting to kidnap cricket stars Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly.

Tariq Ahmad was arrested along with two of his aides while boarding a train from New Delhi to Agra, said the News Delhi police chief Ajai Raj Sharma.

Sharma said Ahmad has claimed to be working on behalf of Dubai-based crime boss Aftab Ansari, the prime suspect for last month's attack on the American Cultural Centre in Calcutta.

Ansari, who is now in Indian custody after he was extradited by the United Arab Emirates, had also confirmed the abduction plan during questioning, the United News of India reported.

Tendulkar and Ganguly have been travelling under tight security since last month, when intelligence reports said they could be kidnapped by Islamic militants.

Ahmad had revealed to police that he wanted to kidnap the cricket stars to demand the release of Mohammed Amir Khan - a member of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e Tayyaba group - who is now jailed in India, Sharma said.

Lashkar is among more than a dozen Islamic groups, which have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with mostly Muslim Pakistan.

The 12 year insurgency in India's only Muslim-majority state has killed at least 30,000 people, according to government estimates. Human rights groups say the number is twice that.

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