New Delhi: The Delhi Police on Thursday claimed to have cracked the August 1 Pune blast case with the arrest of three Indian Mujahideen operatives from Pul Prahladpur in Delhi. All the three suspected terrorists are from Maharashtra and were planning to carry out terror strikes in Delhi and at Bodh Gaya in Bihar during the festive season.
Referring to the August 1 Pune blast Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said that the alleged terrorists had bought electronics and cycles from Budhwar Peth in the city for the terror strike. Delhi Police are also coordinating with Maharashtra ATS and Bihar Police in the case.
"Delhi Police special cell has cracked the Pune blast case. We have arrested three people - Asad Khan of Aurangabad, Imran Khan of Nanded and Syed Feroz of Pune," Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar said.
The police also said that Lashkar-e-Toiba operative and 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal's interrogation led to the arrest of the three IM operatives. The Commissioner added that the name of another key LeT terrorist Fayyaz Qagzi was revealed by Jundal during the interrogation. "This shows a direct link between Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba," he said.
According to the police, on June 8, 2012 Qateel Siddique, accused in the German Bakery blast and Jama Masjid attack, was killed by jail inmates Sharad Mohan and Ashok Bhalerao in the Yerwada jail. The duo killed Siddique as he boasted that his group would carry out a blast at Dagdusheth, a famous Ganpati temple in Pune. The investigation into his murder revealed that he was part of a bigger conspiracy and led to the arrest the three IM operatives in Delhi. The police have recovered "4 kg of explosive materials, 8 detonators, 9 volt batteries from the trio.
Sources also said that the three arrested persons were close to fugitive Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal. The police had on March 27 arrested another suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorist, an alleged aide of Bhatkal, from north-east Delhi with one kg explosives and a detonator. Assadullah Rehman alias Dilkash (20) was apprehended from Chandu Nagar in Karawal Nagar. Dilkash, who hails from Darbhanga in Bihar, had allegedly escaped in November 2011 from the arms factory run by Indian Mujahideen in west Delhi's Nangloi before the police crackdown during which a number of suspected terrorists were nabbed by police.
A senior police official said Dilkash had told police that he had recently taken on rent a premises at Chandu Nagar from where investigators allegedly recovered one kg of explosive powder, a detonator, a timer and a mobile phone. "He came in contact with Mohd Kafeel Ahmad, the motivator and ideologue of Indian Mujahideen, who was arrested earlier. He was motivated by Ahmad to join Indian Mujahideen. In February 2011, Ahmad introduced him to Bhatkal who further motivated him," the official said.
In April 2011, the official said, on instructions from Bhatkal, he reached Delhi and was taken to the factory at Meer Vihar in Nangloi which was later busted by police. There he learnt to work on the lathe machine and assisted Mohd Irshad and Bhatkal in allegedly manufacturing pistols and other arms and ammunition. "He became a trusted aide of Bhatkal," the official claimed.
(With additional information from PTI)