Indian Mujahideen terrorists were planning to carry out a 'fidayeen' attack at Bihar's Bodh Gaya to avenge "atrocities" against Muslims in Myanmar, Delhi Police claimed today after arresting a fifth man in connection with Pune serial blasts in August this year.
Sayed Maqbool, a resident of Maharashtra's Nanded whom police claimed is the district president of All India Majlis Itehad-ul Muslimeen which has an MP in Lok Sabha, was apprehended from Hyderabad on October 23, SN Srivastava, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), said.
Maqbool, a fruitseller who allegedly taught suspected IM terrorists on how to make IEDs, is the fifth person to be arrested in connection with the August 1 Pune blasts to avenge the killing of operative Qateel Siddique in Yerwada Jail.
"Maqbool was in close association with the four others -- Asad Khan, IUmran Khan, Sayed Feroz and Langde Irfan Mustafa -- who were arrested and together they planned to commit fidayeen attacks on Buddhist shrines in Bodh Gaya," Mr Srivastava claimed.
The suspected terrorists had got the approval of IM's Riyaz Bhatkal, a fugitive believed to be in Pakistan, for carrying out the attack as a "retaliation to the alleged atrocities on Muslims in Myanmar", he claimed.
Maqbool first came in contact with Imran and later was introduced to the other members of the group. He allegedly taught them how to make IEDs using urea, diesel and fire cracker power at Asad's farm house in Aurangabad, he said.
"In April this year, Imran introduced him to Bhatkal brothers. The gang had earlier discussed plans to carry out a fidayeen attack in Bodh Gaya. Since Bhatkals wanted to avenge the death of Siddiqui, they decided to carry out the blast in Pune first," Srivastava said.
On the instructions of Riyaz Bhatkal, Srivastava claimed, Maqbool helped Imran in doing a recce of Dilkush Nagar, Begum Bazar and Abuds in Hyderabad.
Maqbool, he claimed, was an associate of Azam Ghori, who allegedly set up Indian Muslim Mohammadi Mujahideen (IMMM) to carry out terrorist attacks in the country at the behest of LeT. Ghori was killed in a gun battle in 2000.
His first criminal act was the murder of one Krishnamoorthy in 1999 for which he was convicted for life. He was released from jail in October 2009 after commutation of his sentence.
In the same year, he was also allegedly involved the murder of one Devender, who is claimed to have encroached on land of a mosque.
According to Srivastava, he was instrumental in the formation of IMMM along with Ghori and Roshan Baig. "They worked under the garb of social reformists claiming that their objectives were to eradicate dowry system, fight against corruption and stop circulation of pornographic films."
It was Ghori who allegedly taught Maqbool on making IEDs so that they can carry out blasts in cinema halls were pornographic films were screened, he said.
They were allegedly involved in blasts in three theatres while the fourth blast took place in Ghori's house when an IED was being made.
He is also allegedly close to Abdul Rauf of AIMIM and Nasruddin, who were allegedly involved in the murder of Hiren Pandya in 2003.
"Maqbool was appointed as the Dharmabad district president of AIMIM by Rauf," Srivastava said.
Delhi Police had, on October 11, claimed to have solved the Pune serial blasts in August and averted terror strikes in Delhi and Bodh Gaya during the festival season.
Police earlier arrested Asad (33), who is a recruiter, motivator and ideologue of the IM, and Imran (31) were arrested on September 26 from their hideout in Pul Prehladpur in south Delhi and Feroze (38) from Nizamuddin Railway station five days later. The fourth arrest was that of Irfan, a computer expert, from Jaipur on October 10.