The day a bomb exploded at a bus stop near Kabutarkhana in Dadar (west) in July 2011, the terrorists had placed another bomb a few metres away — near the flower market.
The target was a police van that was permanently stationed near the flower market. However, neither did this explosive ever go off nor was it ever found, said the police.
This was revealed during interrogation of top Indian Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal and his accomplice Asaduallah Akhtar alias Tabrez alias Haddi. This revelation comes over two years after three explosion rocked the city on July 13, 2011.
At the Dadar flower market, the prime target of the terrorists was the police patrol party. The accused Indian Mujahideen operatives had planned to place the explosive under the police van. But at the time of the explosions, the police van wasn’t at the spot. “The police party had to leave the place after it received a call elsewhere,” said an officer from the Anti-Terrorism Squad.
The explosive, with its timer ticking away, was hurriedly planted at the flower market.
A police officer who is interrogating Bhatkal said that Yasin has told them that they had done a recce of two spots in Dadar – the bus stop near Kabutarkhana and the police van stationed near the flower market.
“Yasin has told us that he planned to place the bomb under the police van so that several cops would be killed besides, of course, civilians who throng the bustling area during evening hours,” said the officer.
At the time that Yasin and his aide Tehseen reached the target spot – the flower market – the van was not stationed there. “An explosive in hand, and with time running out, they placed the bomb in a garbage bin and fled. This explosive neither exploded nor was it recovered,” said the police officer.
Their job done, Yasin and Asaduallah along with another accomplice, Waqas Ahmed, went to their rented hideout in Byculla, said police sources while their fourth accomplice Tehseen went to his hideout in Govandi. The sources added that after Yasin’s arrest, Tehseen handles operations of the terror outfit.
Another ATS officer said that Yasin has told them that Waqas Ahmed, a wanted accused, is a Pakistani. “Asaduallah, who was earlier believed to be a Pakistani, is from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh,” said the officer.
Places recced by the IM terrorists in 2011
Yasin Bhatkal and his accomplice Asaduallah Akhtar have told the police that Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar were not the only spots they had recced for the 13/7 blasts. “Colaba Market, ATS headquarters in Nagpada, Dadar (East and West), Gol Deol in JJ Marg area, Mumbadevi Temple, McDonalds near Andheri (West) station, Juhu beach and Mumbai police headquarters in Crawford Market were also recced,” said an ATS officer. Yasin said his group had recced these targets thrice between February and July 201.