IM provided bombs: Police

IM provided bombs: Police

Fugitive Indian Mujahideen (IM) leader Mohd Tehsin Akhtar wanted to target BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and also avenge the recent Muzaffarnagar riots by triggering serial blasts at the “Hunkar Rally” in Patna, preliminary investigations into Sunday’s blasts have revealed.

He had handed over bombs to at least six of his associates in Ranchi. Akhtar is learnt to have taken over the IM after the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar in August. He is suspected to be involved in terror strikes at Varanasi (2010), Mumbai (2011), Dilsukhnagar and Bodh Gaya (2013).

The associates, including Mohammed Imtiaz Ansari who was arrested by the local police, left Ranchi for Patna in batches of two a day before the blasts, said investigating agency sources.

Akhtar had told Ansari that he would personally participate in the execution of the plans. But his presence could not be confirmed since there was no conversation between them after leaving Ranchi, said the sources. 

Akhtar had instructed his associates to activate the bombs by inserting pencil cells and set the timers. It is learnt that Ansari revealed to the agencies that a group planted bombs at a toilet in the Patna railway station. But Tariq, a suspected IM operative, panicked. As he failed to set the timer properly, the bomb went off, taking his life.

Another suspected IM operative is recuperating at a Patna hospital. But investigators were not completely sure about his identity as Ansari could not identify him.
The agency called this group a part of “the Ranchi module.” Asadullah Akhtar had told the investigators about its presence after his arrest in Nepal. Members of this group are in their mid-20s and early 30s.

Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar are understood to have told the interrogators that they would target Modi for the Godhra riots. Their revelation prompted the intelligence agencies to alert the Bihar government on October 23 about a possible terror strike on Modi’s “Hunkar Rally” in Patna.

The police and central agencies have picked another person suspected of being part of the same module. The police believe that the terrorists could not inflict much damage on Sunday as improvised devises used for the blasts did not match the bombs which experts like Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar could assemble.

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