IM wanted to blow up Dagdusheth temple

IM operative reveals that a bomb was to be planted at the temple to go off along with the blast at Pune's German Bakery on February 13 last year

THE Indian Mujahideen (IM) had planned to blow up the famous Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai temple in Pune on the day of the German Bakery blast. The planter of the bomb had to drop the plan at the last moment because of an alert flower vendor on the temple premises.

On their radar: The IM had planned to blow up the famous Shrimant
Dagdusheth Halwai temple in Pune on the day of the German Bakery
blast last year. This information was revealed by Mohammad Qateel
Siddiqui alias Vivek Mishra (27), one of the six arrested IM operatives,
in his statement before the Delhi police. file pic

This information was revealed by a group of IM operatives arrested on Wednesday by the Delhi police. If the confessions of Mohammad Qateel Siddiqui are to be believed, the IM had planned to carry out simultaneous bomb blasts at the Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapati temple and the German Bakery on February 13 last year.

Only the German Bakery blast plan succeeded, and as it created a panic in Pune city and resulted in heightened security, Siddiqui rushed to Mumbai and dismantled the explosive device before dumping it in the sea at the Worli Sea-Face.

Siddiqui alias Vivek Mishra (27), a resident of Darbhanga in Bihar, revealed all this in his statement made before the Delhi police. Officials of the Mumbai Crime Branch and the ATS were present during the interrogation of Siddiqui that brought to light this fresh input in the blast case.

The state ATS is now in the process of seeking Siddiqui's custody from the Delhi police.

On Wednesday, the Delhi police busted the IM module that was allegedly behind the blasts at Pune's Germany Bakery, Bengalaru's Chinnaswami Stadium and Delhi's Jama Masjid. The six arrested people were identified as Mohd Qateel Siddique, Mohd Irshad Khan, Gaudhar Aziz Khomani, Gayur Ahmad Jamali, Abdur Rehman and a Pakistani by the name of Mohd Adil.

Siddiqui's was the first arrest to be made. A Special Cell team arrested Siddiqui from Anand Vihar Inter State Terminus in Darbhanga.

He was subjected to sustained interrogation and he reportedly told the investigators that he was a member of the IM and was working under Shahrukh, the IM's India head.

Siddiqui also revealed that he and Yasin Bhatkal, who is believed to be a relative of IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal, on February 13, 2010, had divided the task of planting the bombs at public places in the city. While Yasin was supposed to plant the bomb at the German Bakery, Siddiqui was assigned the task of planting the one at Dagdusheth Halwai temple. Both bombs were dispatched to the spot with timers that were supposed to make them explode at the same time, that is 7.15 pm.
Vendor saves day
A few weeks before the blast, Siddiqui had even reconnoitred the temple and befriended a flower vendor on the temple premises.

"Siddiqui went to keep the bomb and as per the plan he kept his bag near the flower seller, took flowers and started rushing towards the temple. But the flower vendor called him back and asked him to take his bag with him," said an ATS officer. "Siddiqui then told the flower seller that he was returning in two minutes, but the vendor asked him to take his bag with him. After this Siddiqui even told the flower vendor that he used to visit the temple daily, and the two then had a heated argument, after which Siddiqui left the temple premises, thinking that it could raise suspicion."

The German Bakery blast took place according to plan and as the news spread, Siddiqui defused the bomb and rushed to Mumbai, where he dismantled it and dumped it in the sea off Worli. Siddiqui then boarded the Punjab Mail and went to Delhi, where he was supposed to meet Bhatkal as per the instructions.

"The two (Bhatkal and Siddiqui) had a major fight over the failure of operation," said the officer.

Bakery Blast
The blast that ripped through the popular German Bakery, close to the Osho Ashram and Jewish Chabad House in Pune on February 13 last year killed 17 people and injured 65.

The ATS chargesheet in the blast case had blamed the attack on a different set of people, seven in all.

These accused included Himayat Baig, who has already been arrested, but Siddiqui's name was not mentioned by the ATS.

The accused who are absconding: Mohsin Choudhary, Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Faiyaz Kagzi and Zabihuddin Ansari. With the fresh developments in Delhi, the ATS is likely to seek Siddiqui's custody in the German Bakery blast case from the Delhi police.

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