The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will formally charge five alleged Islamic State (IS)-sympathisers from Haridwar and Mumbai for conspiring to carry out bomb blasts during the Ardh Kumbh Mela in Haridwar earlier this year.
Akhlak-ur-Rehman, Mohammad Osama alias Adil, Mohammad Asim Shah and Mohammad Meraj alias Monu, were arrested from Roorkee and Haridwar in January this year while the fifth alleged IS-sympathiser Mohsin Ibrahim Sayyed was picked up a month later here by the special cell of the Delhi Police.
The case was later transferred to the NIA.
The chargesheet will be filed in a special court in Delhi.
“The boys had planned to plant improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Har Ki Pauri, where devotees take a dip in the Ganga in Haridwar. They had identified entry and exit points and a bridge where the IEDs were to be planted,” said an investigator who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
According to investigators, Syria-based IS recruiter Shafi Armar alias Yusuf al Hindi provided bomb-making literature to the accused persons.
“They were asked to fabricate IEDs with explosive coated on the tip of match sticks. They bought huge number of match boxes for it,” said the investigator.
The NIA claims it has found a link between the five accused and Yusuf al-Hindi who investigators suspect is a former Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Shafi Armar, orignally a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka. He is said to have gone to Pakistan in 2009 after a crackdown on the IM and later shifted to Afghanistan. But as the brand of the IS grew, he along with some of his erstwhile IM associates reached Syria. Since then, Armar is known to have stitched together more than half a dozen groups of IS-sympathiser in the country, with latest of being busted in Hyderabad two weeks back.
During the probe, the NIA gathered extensive electronic communication trail which not only linked the accused together but also with their handler Yusuf al-Hindi in Syria.
The NIA is likely to file another chargesheet against 18 more alleged IS-sympathisers on Monday.