Delhi’s anti-terror unit chief, Pramod Kushwaha, told police had recovered IEDs containing RDX, grenades, Beretta pistols and ammunition, which had been stocked up for the attacks on large congregations during the upcoming festivals. One kg of RDX has been found till now.
Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Anees was directly coordinating execution of the plot and handling recruitment, finance, transport and other logistical aspects through his underworld channels.
Two of the arrested men — Mohammad Osama from Delhi and Zeeshan from Prayagraj — were trained by the ISI and Pak military at Gioni in the Gwadar port area. Ibrahim’s henchmen first got them to Muscat and then took them to Pakistan via the sea route. They came under the scanner of agencies during this time.
The module had got multiple IEDs arranged from sources across the border and were at an advanced stage of execution when the agencies swooped down on them, thereby saving scores of lives. The first to be arrested was the chief handler and D Company henchman, Jaan Mohammed Sheikh alias Sameer Kaliya (47), a resident of Social Nagar, Mumbai.
He was nabbed from a running train in Kota, Rajasthan, while he was on his way to Delhi. He led the teams to Mohammad Osama (22) alias Sami, a resident of Abu Fazal Enclave in Jamia Nagar area of Delhi. Simultaneously, cops picked up another D Company associate and hawala dealer Moolchand (47), a resident of Rae Bareilly in UP.
Raids continued with the arrest of Zeeshan Qamar from Prayagraj and Mohammad Amir Javed from Lucknow. Mohammed Abu Bakar (23), a resident of Bahraich, was arrested from Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi. Police commissioner Rakesh Asthana reviewed the operation on Tuesday noon. The operation was conducted by a crack team led by ACP Lalit Mohan Negi and Hriday Bhushan.
The raids and arrests were made by teams comprising inspectors Sunil Rajain, Ravinder Joshi and Vinay Pal. According to the police, the arrested persons were tasked separately to execute different aspects of the terror plan.
“The underworld operative, Sameer, a close contact of Anees Ibrahim, was tasked by a Pak-based person connected with underworld operatives hiding in Pakistan to ensure smooth delivery of IEDs, sophisticated weapons and grenades to different entities in India,” DCP Kushwaha said.
Osama and Zeeshan, who are Pakistan-trained terror operatives working under the instructions of ISI, were given the responsibility of conducting reconnaissance of suitable locations in Delhi and UP and place the IEDs, he added.
“The special cell of Delhi Police had received a reliable input from a central agency that a Pak-abetted and sponsored group of entities was planning to execute serial IED blasts in India. For this, the group has got multiple IEDs arranged from sources across the border and were at an advanced stage of preparation,” DCP Kushwaha said in a statement.
Their inputs, said cops, indicated that an Okhla-based entity was an important part of this module who had associates based in various parts of the country, including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. “A multi-pronged operation was launched to unearth the whole conspiracy and several teams were stationed at Mumbai, Lucknow, Prayagraj, Rae Bareilly and Pratapgarh in UP simultaneously.
On September 14, 2021, on the basis of intelligence gathered through human as well as technical nodes, simultaneous raids were conducted in different states. The operation in UP was done in coordination with the UP ATS,” said Kushwaha. The interrogation of suspects has revealed that this module had received sophisticated RDX based IEDs, grenades, pistols and cartridges from a sleeper cell operative and these were sent to UP for safe concealment.
Thereafter, underworld operative Jan Mohd Sheikh was tasked by Pak-based Anees Ibrahim to receive them in Delhi and hand over to other terror operatives in Delhi, Mumbai and other parts of the country. “Subsequently, further deliveries of similar consignments of IEDs were to be done through the same channel,” the DCP said.
The suspects are being interrogated about the other consignments and the identity and locations of other members of their syndicate. An FIR has been registered at the special cell and the suspects have been taken on remand after being produced before the court.