The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force on Saturday claimed to have unearthed the plot behind the serial court blasts in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi after the arrest of two alleged members of the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami.
The two — Mohammad Tariq Kasmi of Rani Sarai in Azamgarh, and Khalid Mujahid of Madiyahun, Jaunpur — were caught near Barabanki station, 30 km from Lucknow, around 6.20 am.
The cops claimed to have seized 1.25 kg of RDX and three detonators from Tariq and ammonium nitrate and three more detonators from Mujahid.
Additional Director-General (law and order) Brij Lal said Tariq, who has been an active member of HuJI since 2003, was part of its administrative wing while Mujahid used to execute the assignments, which included planting bombs.
Lal said they were issued directives from the outfit’s Bangladesh-based commander about triggering the blasts on November 23 that killed 13 people.
Four explosives experts from Bangladesh arrived at Tariq’s house on June 17 and the operations head of HuJI, Mukhtar, had provided the explosives from Bangladesh, Lal said.
The experts assembled the bombs and Tariq placed the timer devices with the help of two associates in Faizabad. Mujahid planted the bombs in Faizabad and Lucknow. The bombs were planted in Varanasi by other members of the organisation.
The bicycles on which the bombs placed were purchased by associates of Tariq and Mujahid in Faizabad and Lucknow, respectively.
Earlier, Lal claimed it was Tariq who had made arrangement for the serial blasts in Gorakhpur on May 22. He was provided with a huge sum of money through hawala channels on May 20. Tariq had made an attempt to trigger blasts in Gorakhpur in December 2006 also, Lal claimed.
Tariq reportedly revealed he was working on the orders of a HuJI commander since 2005 while studying in Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar.