At least two of the four terror suspects arrested in Jharkhand on Wednesday had booked train tickets to visit Delhi and Amritsar on Sunday, a day before Narendra Modi is scheduled to take oath in the national capital, multiple sources associated with the probe told HT.
The four were arrested on charges of being involved in last year's serial blasts in Bodh Gaya and Patna, the later incident during an election meeting addressed by Modi last October.
"Two train tickets were booked on May 19 for a journey from Mugalsarai to Delhi on May 24 on the 12397 Mahabodi Superfast Express," said a counter-terror official requesting anonymity
Two further tickets were also booked for a further journey from Delhi to Amritsar in Punjab on May 25, the official said.
"We have recovered another set of two tickets for a return journey from Amritsar to Lucknow on May 27. We suspect that it was an elaborate plan for a reccee to carry out terror strikes ," the official added.
The official identified the two operatives scheduled to travel as Haidar Ali and Mujibullah.
The NIA, however, refused to comment on the developments.
But Palamu police superintendent YS Ramesh on Thursday confirmed the recovery of railway tickets during the raids in Daltonganj from where Haidar and Mujibullah's two more associates Numan Ansari and a minor, whose identity cannot be revealed, were picked up on early Wednesday morning.
According to the official, Haidar is alleged to be a Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) cadre who was also in touch with Indian Mujahideen's top operative Riyaz Bhatkal.
"But we are almost certain that Haidar acted on his own for the serial blasts in Bodh Gaya in July last year and then at Patna," the official added.
The official claimed that Haidar knew another top IM operative Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu, who was arrested by the Delhi police in March this year. "But it is quite possible that Haidar had further links with some elements of al Qaeda or Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan," said the official.
Sources in Jharkhand police, who were with the NIA during the arrests told HT that the terror module led by Haidar Ali was planning to carry out terror strikes in either in the national capital or in Punjab.
The raiding team has recovered Islamist doctrines, maps of possible target points across India, electronic equipment, mobile phones from their hideouts in Ranchi and Daltonganj.
Sources claimed that during interrogation, Noman and his juvenile associate divulged in details their subversive plans.
Both the accused in their initial interrogation said Haidar had visited them and told them to be ready for the next operation and a possible travel across the border to a neighbouring country.