* Detained men helped attackers with mobile phone cards
* Pakistan went on alert after hoax call-report
* Indian airports on alert for fourth day
* Explosives found in hospital
By Tamajit Pain
KOLKATA, Dec 6 Indian police said on Saturday
they had arrested two men who helped the Mumbai attackers get
mobile phone cards which they used for communications during
their three-day rampage.
Police in the eastern city of Kolkata identified the men as
Tausif Rehman and Mukhtar Ahmed and said they were picked up on
Friday after investigators traced some of the Subscriber
Identity Module (SIM) cards recovered from the gunmen.
"We are questioning them about procurement of SIM cards used
in Mumbai," Jawed Shamim, deputy commissioner of detectives in
Kolkata, told Reuters.
The arrests are further evidence of Indian complicity in the
three-day rampage. New Delhi has blamed the attacks on Islamic
militants from neighbouring Pakistan, raising tension between
South Asia's longtime foes, both nuclear-armed.
Airports in New Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai remained on
high alert for a fourth day on Saturday, with extra security
personnel deployed after India's civil aviation authority said
it had received intelligence that attacks could be planned.
Security was also high in the north Indian town of Ayodhya
on Saturday, the 16th anniversary of the razing of the Babri
mosque by a Hindu extremist mob which set off Hindu-Muslim riots
that killed thousands.A makeshift Hindu temple now stands there.
Hindu nationalists burned five Pakistani flags in front of
the temple site on Saturday to shouts of "Down with Pakistan!"
"We decided to also condemn the terror unleashed by Pakistan
on our country," a spokesman for the group, Sharad Sharma, said.
"And what could have been a better way to condemn than setting
ablaze the flags of that country?"
At least 700 extra officers were protecting the site,
district police chief R.K.S. Rathore told Reuters.
Earlier, 15 Hindu activists demanding a permanent temple be
built were arrested in nearby Faizabad while Muslim activists
who ordinarily fly a black flag on the anniversary opted not to.
"We are not making any public protest this time in view of
the large-scale carnage by terrorists in Mumbai," activist
leader Yunus Siddiqui told Reuters.
At least 171 people were killed in the attacks last week in
which 10 gunmen struck two luxury hotels and other landmarks in
India's financial capital.
India has remained jittery since the attacks, and on
Saturday police in Nagpur in the western state of Maharashtra
said they had found explosives in a hospital after a caller
phoned doctors with a warning from a public phone booth.
Aziz Khan, a doctor at Crescent Hospital, said the caller,
speaking Hindi, said a bomb had been placed near the hospital
entrance: "You will see the result in 10 minutes," the caller
Patients were evacuated and a police bomb squad and sniffer
dog were called in. They found some explosives, Nagpur Joint
Commissioner of Police Babasaheb Kangale said.
Nagpur is home to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu
nationalist group that supports the main opposition Bharatiya
Janata Party. The BJP has accused the ruling Congress party
coalition of being weak on security.
Police said they were pursuing details of local Indian help
for the Mumbai attackers after the arrests of Rehman and Ahmed.
Rehman, a clerk, used a dead relative's identity documents
to acquire the 22 SIM cards which he later sold to Ahmed, Shamim
said later. Both men were charged with conspiracy and forgery.
Ahmed was a street vendor and three-wheel taxi driver in
Kolkata, Shamim said. He was arrested in New Delhi.
Shamim said it was not immediately clear how the SIM cards
were passed to the gunmen, whom investigators have said talked
to their handlers during the 60-hour rampage.
Mumbai police have said the gunmen were controlled by the
Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group blamed for earlier
attacks in India, including a 2001 assault on India's parliament
that very nearly sparked a war between India and Pakistan.
LeT is on U.S. and Indian terrorist lists and Indian police
say two of its operations leaders, designated terrorists by
Washington in May, coordinated the Mumbai rampage.
There has been public anger at intelligence failures in
preventing the attacks. India's newly appointed home minister
admitted on Friday there had been lapses.
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported on Saturday that Pakistan
had put its forces on high alert after a hoax caller pretending
to be India's foreign minister spoke threateningly to President
Asif Ali Zardari two days after the attacks. [nISL383109]
(Reporting by New Delhi, Mumbai and Islamabad bureaux;
Additional reporting by Sharat Pradhan in Ayodhya; Writing by
Bryson Hull; editing by Tim Pearce)