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Al-Qaeda suspect did not visit Odisha secretariat : Police

Following a state-wide hue and cry over the reported visit to Odisha secretariat by arrested al-Qaeda suspect Abdur Rahman, the state police today made it clear that he did not do so.

“The person who visited the state secretariat was A Rahman, a peon in the office of the chief district medical officer (CDMO), Cuttack and not the suspected al-Quaeda terrorist Abdur Rahman as alleged,” Bhubaneswar-Cuttack Commissioner of Police R P Sharma said.

Opposition Congress and BJP had demanded a high level investigation into the incident in which the terror suspect allegedly visited the secretariat on October 7.

“We have verified and found that one A Rahman, a peon in the office of the CDMO, Cuttack was given pass to enter the state secretariat on October 7 at 11.15 am. The person who actually visited the secretariat was a peon and not a suspected terrorist,” Sharma told reporters here.

The Odisha Police team which is camping in Delhi has also verified the matter with Abdur Rahman, who was arrested from Cuttack on December 16 and is presently lodged in a special cell in the national capital, he said.

“Rahman informed us that he has never visited Odisha secretariat in his life,” the CP said.

Sources said the police are also verifying the CCTV footage of the secretariat to ascertain whether the Cuttack CDMO’s office peon actually entered it on October 7 or not. “We are also checking whether the same person (A Rahman) visited the secretariat or some one else entered it in his name,” an officer said.

Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra had yesterday ordered a probe into the allegation made by the opposition.

Opposition Congress and BJP leaders had accused the state government of allowing terror elements to freely roam in the high security secretariat area.