Interrogation of Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez alias Haddi has revealed that Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament was on the hit list of the banned outfit. IM members had recced Wankhede stadium at Marine Drive twice in 2011. On the first occasion, wanted accused Waqas Ahmed had bought a ticket and went inside the stadium in order to gauge police security.
"Asadullah has told the police that on April 20, 2011, Waqas did a recce of Wankhede stadium during a match between Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors. He had a good look at the security measures taken by the police there and found it to be very tight," said an officer from Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on condition of anonymity.
He added that on April 22 in the same year, when a match was played between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede Stadium, both Waqas and Asadullah had visited the place and had done a recce of the outer periphery of the stadium. "Yasin Bhatkal was not in the city when the reconnaissance was done. The IPL as a target was decided by IM boss Riyaz Bhatkal as there would be huge crowds in the stadiums during matches," the officer said.
Asked whether IPL matches still continue to be under IM threat, the officer said, "With this fresh revelation that IM members had recced the Wankhede stadium from both inside and outside, we would intensify the security in the next IPL season."
Meanwhile, interrogation of Yasin has revealed that after having planted IEDs in Dadar, Yasin and Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu had taken a cab to Kurla. "They caught a train to Kasara from Kurla and from there went to Nashik via another train. From Nashik, they took a train to Bihar and reached Darbhanga. Yasin was out of the city on the day the serial blasts took place," the officer added.