A middle-aged fruit-seller, allegedly associated with an Indian Mujahideen (IM) module that was planning to carry out a 'fidayeen' attack at Bodh Gaya in Bihar to avenge 'atrocities' perpetrated against Muslims in Myanmar and replicate Pune serial blast in Delhi during the festival season, was arrested by the special cell, police said on Friday.
Sayed Maqbool, a resident of Maharashtra's Nanded, was apprehended from Hyderabad on October 23, said S N Srivastava, special commissioner of police (special cell). Srivastava said Maqbool has also taught the four recently-arrested members of the IM's 'Maharashtra module' behind Pune's serial blasts how to engineer Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
"Maqbool was in close association with the other four involved in the Pune serial blasts - Asad Khan, Imran Khan, Sayyed Feroze and Langde Irfan Mustafa. Together, they had planned to execute fidayeen (suicide) attacks on Buddhist shrines at Bodh Gaya," Srivastava claimed.
The group, which had executed the Pune serial blasts in early August to avenge the murder of IM member Qateel Siddiqui at Pune's Yerawada Jail, had got the approval of Riyaz Bhatkal for carrying out the attack as a 'retaliation to atrocities on Muslims in Myanmar', police said.
Maqbool first came in contact with Imran and was later introduced to the other members of the group. He taught them how to make IEDs using urea, diesel and fire cracker powder at Asad's farm house in Aurangabad, police said.
"In April, Imran introduced him to Riyaz and Iqbal, the Bhatkal brothers, over the Internet," Srivastava said.
On the instructions of Riyaz Bhatkal, Srivastava claimed, Maqbool helped Imran in conducting a recce of Dilkush Nagar, Begum Bazar and Abuds in Hyderabad.