Another IM operative held

Arrests in Pune blasts case reach five

Another IM operative held

Delhi Police have arrested yet another suspected Indian Mujahideen operative for alleged involvement in the August 1 Pune serial blasts. With this, the total number of arrests in the case has gone up to five.

Sayed Maqbool alias Zuber, a resident of Maharashtra’s Nanded district, was arrested in Hyderabad on Tuesday for being part of the IM squad that planned and executed the blasts.

According to S N Srivastava, special commissioner of police (special cell), the 35-year-old had trained his associates to make improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and the arrest came following interrogation of the four arrested IM operatives.

“They also planned to commit fidayeen attacks on Buddhist shrines in Bihar’s Bodh Gaya to avenge alleged atrocities committed against Muslims in Myanmar. The plan had the approval and support of IM founders Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, both brothers,” said Srivastava.

“But the Bhatkals wanted to avenge the death of their associate Qateel Mohammed Siddiqui, and decided to carry out the bomb blasts at Pune first,” he added.

Police had arrested Asad Khan, 33, and Imran Khan, 31, from their hideout in south-east Delhi’s Pul Prahladpur on September 26. Sayed Feroz alias Hamza, 38, was nabbed in Nizamuddin Railway station here on October 1, and Landge Irfan Mustafa, 30, was arrested in Jaipur on October 10.

Explosives, detonators and other incriminating material were recovered from them.
Srivastava said Maqbool joined IM after coming in contact with Imran through a common friend.

They later introduced Maqbool to Asad and Irfan. Maqbool is alleged to have taught them the method to prepare IEDs by using urea, diesel and firecracker powder at Asad’s farmhouse in Aurangabad.

In April, Imran introduced Maqbool to the Bhatkal brothers. “Before the Pune serial blasts, Maqbool, Irfan, Imran and Asad had discussed their plan of carrying out a fidayeen attack on Buddhist shrines in Bodh Gaya. They also planned to carry out attacks in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad,” said Srivastava.

On Riyaz’s direction, Maqbool also helped Imran in getting location information of Dilkush Nagar, Begum Bazar and Abids in Hyderabad about a month before Ramzan.
The Pune bombings were a series of four coordinated low-intensity attacks. A 34-year-old man, Dayanand Bhaurao Patil, was injured.

All the arrests in the case came following a tip-off from suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Abu Jundal alias Sayyed Zabiuddin.

Jundal is accused of involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, and is also accused in the Ahmedabad railway station blast of February 19, 2006, Aurangabad arms haul case of May 2006 and co-accused in the German bakery blast case.

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