The five militants arrested in connection with last month's Uttar Pradesh serial blasts wanted to carry out simultaneous explosions in four crowded areas in Mumbai, including Gateway of India, official sources said.
The sources quoting the interrogators questioning the five militants arrested from Barabanki (Uttar Pradesh), Doda (Jammu and Kashmir) and North 24 Parganas (West Bengal) claimed that Bangladesh-based banned Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islamia was planning to carry out yet another serial blasts in Mumbai. All the five have been arrested for November 23 serial blasts in UP cities -- Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi.
Gateway of India, Andheri, Oberoi Hotel and Navi Mumbai were places where these militants had already carried out dry runs -- a chilling reminder of 2006 Mumbai serial blasts.
The militants, however, changed their plans for Mumbai after a group of UP lawyers manhandled two Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants, arrested for hatching conspiracy to kidnap VIPs, including Rahul Gandhi.
This was the third incident in last one year when HuJI militants, their sympathisers or Jaish militants were attacked in Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, Faizabad court premises was witness to an altercation between lawyers and HuJI militants, who had conspired and provided logistic help to terrorists who carried out the suicide attack on disputed structure in 2005. The local bar association had banned its advocates from taking up their cases.