The alleged terror module behind the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast had plans to kill three senior members of a Lucknow-based Islamic seminary for condemning the acts of IS, sources in the anti-terror squad questioning the suspects said. The group, which had done a recce of the seminary, also wanted to target the Dewa Sharif shrine in Barabanki and the Asifi or Bada Imambara in Lucknow, the officers said. The ATS sources said the details of the plot to attack the seminary members became known during the questioning of Mohammad Gaus Khan, a former IAF corporal whom investigators have called the “motivator” of the alleged terror module.
“Mohammad Gaus Khan revealed during his interrogation that they had planned to shoot three top men of the seminary and a recce had already been done by the group…. They had also planned to target Dewa Sharif and Bada Imambara after executing the killings. These terror acts in and around Lucknow was the reason behind making group’s headquarters in Lucknow,” said a senior ATS official. Additional Director-General, Law and Order, Daljit Singh Chowdhary said, arrangements to provide security to the seminary members was under way. The seminary is believed to hold a place of importance in many Islamic countries.
A diary found in the house of Saifullah, one of the suspects killed in an ATS encounter near Lucknow, has a mention of the group planning for the killings, sources in the ATS said. The diary mentioned March 24 as the deadline to execute the seminary attacks as well as those at the Dewa Sharif shrine in Barabanki and the Bada Imambara of Lucknow, said an ATS officer.