New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) Three people were arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board Chairman Waseem Rizvi at the behest of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, police said here today.

The three accused — Salim Ahmed Ansari (42), Abrar (36) years and Arif (38) — were arrested from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr by the Delhi Police Special Cell, they said.

A Delhi court later today sent the three men to five days police custody.

In January, Rizvi had written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in which he claimed that madrassas bred terrorists and demanded that the Islamic institutions should be shut.

In the letter to the prime minister, Rizvi had demanded that madrassas be replaced by schools affiliated to the CBSE or the ICSE which will offer students an optional subject of Islamic education.

Later in the month, he had approached the Lucknow Police alleging that he had received a threat call from a man claiming to be an aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim.

Rizvi had reported to the police that the caller said he was threatened for his stand on madrassa education and other issues.

Earlier, He had also expressed support in building of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

The Delhi Police said that during the past few months, they had received inputs that Chotta Shakeel, under the directions from gangster Dawood Ibrahim, had been planning some subversive activities in India.

Subsequently, it was learnt that one Salim from Bulandshahr had recently returned from Dubai and was in constant touch with Dubai-based underworld operatives, said PS Kushwah, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell).

The activities of Salim were monitored which revealed that Salim along with his associates Arif and others was planning to kill Rizvi.

The group had convened a meeting in Delhi in March for this purpose and from here they had gone to Lucknow to recce Rizvi’s office.

After the observations, they had informed their handlers in Dubai, who then directed them to procure arms and ammunition for the attack. They contacted Abrar for procuring arms and ammunition through him, said the officer.

Salim was paid 3000 dirham for buying arms and ammunition and had been promised more money when the work was done, the police added.

Yesterday, a team of Special Cell of the Delhi Police nabbed the accused from Bulandshahr, UP. Arms and ammunition and mobile phones used by the accused to communicate with their handlers in Dubai were recovered from them.

Salim was the leader of the group. In 1992, he was arrested in a snatching case in Bulandshahr and remained in jail for about 20 days. He was again arrested in 1994 in two cases of robbery and snatching. This time he remained in Bulandshahr Jail for about two-and-a-half months.

After being released from jail, he went to Mumbai and was arrested there in a robbery case and remained in Arthur road jail for about four years.

He procured a passport without disclosing his criminal involvements and went to Riyad and stayed there from 1998 to 2001.

In December 2017, he went to Dubai on tourist visa for three months where he met an associate of Chhota Shakeel who works for D-company. He tasked Salim to carry out assassination of Rizvi, the police said.

In February, Salim called Arif from Dubai and informed him about this conspiracy. Arif was in dire need of money so he readily agreed to join Salim, they added.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.