Pune blasts 'avenged' associate's death

Revenge was the apparent motive behind the five coordinated blasts which seven Indian Mujhaideen terrorists – including the three now arrested by Delhi Police – carried out within a span of 30 minutes in Pune on August 1.

One person was injured then. A sixth blast did  not take place as the bomb was successfully defused by police.

With the arrest of three terrorists in Delhi, police claim to have unravelled the mystery behind the serial blasts on Pune's Jangli Maharaj Road.

The blasts were carried out on the directions of IM members Iqbal Bhatkal and Riaz Bhatkal, who hail from Bhatkal in Karnataka and are currently based in Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Fayyaz Ahmed Qagzi is originally a resident of Beed in Maharashtra and is now based in a West Asian country.

The Bhatkal brothers wanted to avenge the death of Qateel Siddique, an IM terrorist, killed on June 8 in Pune's Yerwada Jail, police said. Siddique had been arrested in November last year by Delhi Police in Nabi Karim area.

In May, he was moved to Pune's Yerwada Jail where he was later strangled by Sharad Mohol and Ashok Bhalerao. He had told them that after coming out of jail, he and other IM members would carry out blasts at Dabru Seth Halwai Ganpati temple, police said.

Initially, the plan was to avenge Siddique's killing by planting a bomb at Yerwada jail or in the premises of the Pune court. However, because of tight security arrangements at both places, the plan was shelved.

“Later, they were asked to kill the family members of Sharad Mohol and Ashok Bhalerao. But as they were unable to identify the relatives, that plan was also given up,” said Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar. The Bhatkal brothers finally decided to plant bombs in Pune or Mumbai. On the instructions of Bhatkal brothers, a base was set up in Pune.In July 2012, Sayed Feroz took a flat on rent at Kasarwadi in Pune. After a few days, two other IM militants joined them. “They brought with them explosives and other incriminating material,” said Kumar.

On August 1, they went to Phadke Howd in Pune where they bought three bicycles which were taken to the Deccan bus stand and left parked at the cycle stand there. In the evening, they left the rented accommodation carrying rucksacks containing improvised explosive devises. On reaching the bus stand they took the IEDs out and planted them along the Junglee Maharaj Road.  

Some more IEDs were planted in dustbins in the same area. The terrorists fled from there, going into hiding in different parts of the country.

The seven members got Rs 3 lakh through hawala transactions from Saudi Arabia for carrying out the Pune blasts

Later, on the instructions of Bhatkal brothers, they came to Delhi for carrying out blasts during the upcoming festive season.

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