The special cell of Delhi police on Friday arrested yet another alleged member of Indian Mujahideen (IM), while claiming that the arrested suspect – Sayed Maqbool alias Zuber – planned a fidayeen attack in Bodh Gaya in Bihar. With the arrest of Maqbool, who is a close associate of those arrested in the Pune bomb blast case earlier this month, the total number of arrests made by Delhi police in this particular case has gone up to five.
According to the police, sustained interrogation of the three arrested IM members – Asad Khan, Sayed Feroz and Irfan Khan – threw up the name of Maqbool, a resident of Nanded district in Maharashtra. Maqbool was arrested from Hyderabad on October 23.
"Maqbool along with his three close associates together planned to carry out fidayeen attacks against Buddhist shrines in Bodh Gaya as retaliation to the alleged atrocities being committed on muslims in Myanmar," SN Srivastava, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), said. Their plan was approved by the Bhatkal brothers.
Investigations so far have revealed that Maqbool came in contact with Imran through a common friend, who also introduced him to Asad and Irfan. Maqbool allegedly taught the three to make a bomb by using urea, diesel and fire cracker powder at Asad’s Aurangabad farmhouse.
Prior to the Pune serial blasts on August 1, Maqbool, Irfan, Imran and Asad had discussed their plan of carrying out a fidayeen attack on Buddhist shrines at Bodh Gaya, Bihar. “But, Bhatkals wanted to avenge the death of Qateel Siddiqui, that’s why they decided to carry out the Pune bomb blasts,” a senior police officer said.
Nearly a month before Ramzan in 2012, Maqbool helped Imran in carrying out a recce of Dilkhush Nagar, Begum Bazar and Abids in Hyderabad on a motorcycle, apparently on the instruction of Riyaz Bhatkal. Police said, Maqbool, a history-sheeter before joining IM, began his criminal career along with one Azam Gauri alias Aleem. Apart from being involved in criminal activities like murder and illegal arms dealing, Maqbool along with Azam Gauri and Roshan Baig was instrumental in the formation of Indian Muslim Mohammadin Mujahidin, a terror organisation, at village Mancharia in 1999.
Working under the garb of social reformists, they said their objectives were to stop dowry system in the society, stop pornographic films. Azam Gauri had taught Maqbool how to prepare IEDs, so that they can cause blasts in those theatres where blue prints were being screened.