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Delhi Police nabs three IM operatives for Pune blasts
Terror outfit had plans to carry out strikes in Capital, Bihar
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
Tribune news service

New Delhi, October 11
The Delhi Police on Thursday claimed to have solved the Pune serial blasts’ case and averted terror strikes in Delhi and Bihar’s Bodhgaya during the upcoming festival season with the arrest of three suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists. The blasts were carried out on August 1 this year to avenge the murder of IM operative Qateel Siddique in Pune’s Yerwada Jail. “The initial plan was to target Mumbai or the Pune prison but later this was changed due to logistical reasons,” the police said. “Three IM members - Asad Khan (33), Imran Khan (31) and Sayed Feroz alias Hamza (38) - have been arrested. While Asad hails from Aurangabad, Imran from Nanded and Feroz from Pune,” Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar told reporters.

Kumar said Asad is a computer expert. He had completed a software engineering course. While Imran is an IED expert and had worked as a government contractor, Feroz owns an apparel shop at Pune.

The Delhi Police’s counter-terror unit had arrested Asad and Iqbal from Pul Prahladpur in South-East Delhi on September 26.

The police claimed to have seized four kg explosives and eight detonators from the rucksacks of the two men. From their hideout at Pul Prahladpur, the police seized nine-volt batteries, circuits, ball bearings and nails. On October 1, Feroz was apprehended from the Nizamuddin Railway Station. The police allegedly seized 1 kg explosives and two detonators from his bag. The explosives have been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory.

After the Pune terror act, the three were on the run and reached Delhi from Roorkee, Uttrakhand.

“The Pune blasts were carried out to avenge the death of Qateel Siddiqui, who was murdered by gangster, Sharad Mohol and his associate, Ashok Bhalerao. The two had murdered him after Siddiqui told them that he would attack the Dagdusheth temple in Pune after his release from jail,” said Kumar.

The IM members were planning to spread terror during the festival season in the Capital. They were also planning an attack on a Hindu temple at Bodh Gaya in Bihar,” said the Police Commissioner.

Sources said that the founder member of the IM, Riyaz Bhatkal, who is based at Karachi in Pakistan, had coordinated the Pune blasts. He was directing the outfit’s members, including the three arrested by the Delhi Police.

The three accused were provided shelter by one Raju Bhai. The police has released the sketches of Raju, who is absconding. They are yet to learn about his identity and probe if he had provided any incriminating material to the arrested individuals.

Two other IM operatives, who are also allegedly involved in the blasts, are also on the police radar. Kumar said more individuals have been identified, whose names have been withheld. Investigators have not ruled out the involvement of IM’s India chief, Yasin Bhatkal, in the attack.

Kumar said the three accused had met an LeT commander, Fayyaz Kagzi, who is based in Saudi Arabia. Fayyaz was in direct communication with the Bhatkal brothers. The plotter of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Syed Zabiuddin alias Abu Jundal, had mentioned about Kagzi to the police during his interrogation.

Sources said both Fayyaz and Jundal are residents of Beed in Maharashtra. “Fayyaz was Jundal’s mentor,” they said.

Asad, Imran and Feroz had travelled numerous times to Saudi Arabia to meet Fayyaz.

The Terror Files

Asad Khan (33) Computer expert, arrested from South-East Delhi on September 26, was carrying explosives detonators in his bag

Imran Khan (31) IED specialist, arrested along with Asad; flew with him to Saudi Arabia to meet LeT commander Fayyaz Kagzi

Sayed Feroz (38) Owns apparel shop in Pune; arrested from the Nizamuddin Railway Station on Oct 1; was carrying 1 kg explosives 





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