Investigations into the pre-Diwali bomb blasts in Goa have shown that the bombers had conducted at least three successful trial runs in Goa and Maharashtra.
Two months after the Margao blast on the eve of Diwali, which accidentally killed two main conspirators, more details are now emerging on how a sinister plot went wrong.
One of the accused, Dhananjay Ashtekar, who is now in custody and who was supposed to assemble the bomb circuit, could not reach Goa on time. Since the bomb was to be planted during a demon effigy burning competition, the plan could not be changed. So the two dead accused tried to connect the circuit themselves.
"Dhananjay is an engineer and through the Net and books he had learnt how to make different kinds of bombs, whether remote-controlled, battery-operated or circuit-based. Although the others also knew how to put the circuit together, they botched up the timing and the bomb went off when they were connecting it", said Ravindra Yadav, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Goa.
The accused had also conducted three dry runs with the bombs at isolated places in Goa and Maharashtra during the Ganesh festival, doing everything to keep their identity under wraps.
"They bought fake sim cards so the police would not be able to trace them ... The planning was so secretive that one guy didn't know the full identity of the other although they had met each other," Yadav said.
Police sources say the Margao blast was just a part of a larger conspiracy. The accused had planned to trigger similar blasts not just in Goa, but in neighbouring states as well. Only that the plan went wrong.