The entire state of Maharashtra, its important cities like Mumbai and Pune in particular, has been put on alert after security agencies were informed terrorists could carry out terror strikes.
Police sources said they cannot rule out the threat of a retaliatory strike by Waqas alias Ahmed and Tehsin Akhtar Sheikh alias Monu—the two close associates of the arrested Indian Mujahideen operative Syed Ahmed Zarar Sidibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal.
The alert has been sounded after Bhatkal is learnt to have told the police during interrogation that IM operatives have conducted reconnaissance of several key targets.
Waqas in particular is the key person who can execute the blasts, considering he played a crucial role in planting the explosives outside the Delhi High Court in 2011, and was involved in 2005 serial blasts in Delhi, said sources.
The alert mentions Jewish establishments, Juhu Chowpatty and Bandstand at Bandra besides the places that have been bombed earlier also, like Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House, Dadar and railway stations in Mumbai.
Two of the eight alleged IM operatives arrested and questioned by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad--- Syed Feroz, Irfan Landge, Imran Khan, Asad Khan, Sayyed Arif alias Kashif Biyabani, Munib Iqbal Memon, Farooq Bagwan and Aslam Jahagirdar alias Bunty---had confessed to carrying out reconnaissance of targets in Bandra, Santacruz, Juhu, Andheri and Jogeshwari.
The alert was sounded in particular to all railway police stations across the state, the sources said. Also, commissionerates and police stations have been alerted of the threat, and policemen have been asked to maintain extra vigil.
Security at railway stations has been beefed up. Also, fresh posters of Waqas and Tehsin have been pasted at important junctions and railways stations across the state.