One of the three men accused in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train blast on 7 March revealed to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that the group had earlier planned strategic attacks in several locations across Uttar Pradesh – a dargah in Barabanki, the Bara Imambara in Lucknow and a leading Shia cleric, as per a report in The Indian Express.
The report quoted NIA sources, saying that, Syed Mir Hussain, one of the three arrested, said that the group had plans to attack the Waris Ali Shah dargah in Barabanki. He told NIA interrogators that the group had scoped out the location – studying security arrangements, movement of pilgrims – and that they dropped the idea as it was heavily guarded.
The group had also targeted the Bara Imambara in Lucknow and Shia cleric Maulana Salman Hussaini Nadvi. They had closely surveyed the cleric’s house and had kept tabs on his movements and vehicles, the report said.
Husain told NIA interrogators that the group had scoped several locations in and around Lucknow to “fix the targets, to implement the sharia law, to have a jihad and to have bomb blasts and commit murder at fixed places.”
Husain along with the other two, Mohammed Danish and Atif Muzaffar, were arrested Pipariya, Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh. Their fourth accomplice, Saifullah, was killed in a gunfight by the UP anti-terror squad in Lucknow.
At least 10 people were injured, three of them seriously, in the non-lethal blast on the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train.
A NIA team had gone to Bhopal to look into the train blast. The officials had visited the site of the blast near Jabri railway station under Shajapur district, about 60 kms from Bhopal.
The agency had taken over the custody of three persons arrested in connection with the IED blast after a Bhopal special court order. The court had allowed their custodial interrogation by NIA during a remand period of 11 days.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Mar 27, 2017 15:01:11 IST