The anti-terrorism squad (ATS), on Wednesday, arrested three more persons, suspected to be Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives, for their alleged involvement in the Jangli Maharaj Road serial blasts in Pune on August 1 that injured one.
The ATS had, on December 20, formally arrested four people for their role in the blasts, after taking custody of them from the Delhi police special cell. So far seven people have been arrested in the case while five others, including two planters, have been shown as 'wanted' in the case.
Additional director general of police (ATS) Rakesh Maria said they had arrested Sayyad Arif alias Kashif Sayyad Biyabani, 32, a real estate agent and law student from Aurangabad, while Munib Iqbal Memon, 31, and Farooq Bagwan, 31, were arrested from Pune.
The four whose custody ATS got on December 20 are Firoz Sayyad, Irfan Landge, Imran Khan and Asad Khan. "During interrogation of the four, we learnt about the involvement of the three others in the blasts," Maria said. The police will also be asking for the custody of an accused, currently with the Hyderabad police, who trained Memon and Bagwan to assemble explosives.
Maria said Arif's arrest was important, as he was the one who scouted for recruits who are later employed for terror activities. Incidentally, Arif's name had also figured during the interrogation of Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal - an accused in the 26/11 terror attacks who had been deported from Saudi Arabia - in connection with the 26/11 terror attacks. Arif's statement had also been recorded in the German bakery blasts.
The police have also learnt that IM founders Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal and Faiyaz Kagzi hatched the blast conspiracy soon after the death of Mohammad Qateel Siddiqui, an IM operative who was murdered in the Yerawada jail in June this year.