The chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against top Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Yasin Bhatkal and his three aides, including Asadullah Akhtar, states that the terror suspects had plans to target the Khadki cantonment area in Pune and Akshardham temple in Delhi.
As per the chargesheet, the data retrieved from the laptops recovered from Yasin and Akhtar reveals that IM members were carrying out reconnaissance of these places.
NIA has mentioned about files in these laptops — photographs of Kirkee (Khadki) area in Pune (Army cantonment) — which was sent by Riyaz Bhatkal to Akhtar through Internet to carry out a reconnaissance during January-February 2012 while he and Waqas were staying in Loni near Loni Medical College in Ahmednagar district.
Meanwhile, investigation by the Maharashtra ATS into J M Road blasts also revealed that Waqas and Akhtar had stayed in Ahmednagar between February and April 2012. But their plan to target Pune’s Army Cantonment was not revealed in the ATS probe.
The special cell of Delhi police and Maharashtra ATS had arrested suspects Imran Khan Wajid Pathan of Nanded, Irfan Mushtaq Landge (32) of Ahmednagar and Asad Khan Jamshedali Khan (33) of Aurangabad and Firoz alias Humza Abdul Hameed Sayyed (38), resident of Shukrawar Peth in Pune, Munib Iqbal Menon (32), Farooq Shaukat Bagwan (32) from Pune, Sayyed Aarif alias Kaashif Sayyed Jafaruddin Biyabani (32) of Aurangabad and Aslam Shabbir Shaikh alias Banti Jahagirdar (40) of Ahmednagar, for their alleged involvement in J M Road blasts.
As per the chargesheet filed by Maharashtra ATS, the suspects were in touch with IM chief Riyaz and LeT operative Fayyaz Kagzi through internet chatting. As per Riyaz’s instructions, Irfan and Firoz used a bogus identity — Kabir Deshmukh — for renting a room at Loni, Sangamner Road, in Ahmednagar as ‘safe house’ for their aides. Riyaz’s close aides Shakir alias Asadullah Akhtar and Ahmed alias Wakas stayed in his house between February and April 2012.
Later, Riyaz sent Rs 3 lakh through hawala to the suspects in Pune for the terror act in city for taking revenge of alleged IM operative Qateel Siddiqui’s murder by gangster Sharad Mohol in Yerawada jail. Riyaz allegedly told the suspects to bomb Yerawada jail or Pune court or to kill family members of gangster Mohol. But later the terror suspects decided to carry out serial blasts on J M Road on August 1, 2012.
According to the NIA chargesheet, the laptops seized from Yasin and Akhtar also had files with photographs of Akshardham temple in Delhi. Investigation revealed that accused Md Ahmed Siddibapa (Yasin) went there for recce. This established the design of the accused for conducting future attacks, it stated. NIA also said that according to data saved in the laptops, there were details about the different modules of guerrilla warfare and various types of explosives.
“The possession of this document clearly establishes the nefarious designs to carry out terrorist attacks to wage a war against the Government of India,” the probe agency said.
The chargesheet has been filed in a Delhi court, which on Monday took cognisance of the NIA’s final report and posted the matter for further hearing on March 7.
With PTI inputs…