Is Terror Plot: Suspects 'planned' to poison prasad at Mumbra temple

Updated: Feb 07, 2019, 08:33 IST | Suraj Ojha

ATS officers allege that each suspect had been assigned tasks, one of which included poisoning medicines at a civic-run hospital

Is Terror Plot: Suspects 'planned' to poison prasad at Mumbra temple
The ATS has so far arrested 10 accused, including a minor, in the alleged IS terror plot, from Thane and Aurangabad

An Investigation by the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has revealed that the 10 IS suspects arrested last month were planning to poison the mahaprasad (holy offering) at the 400-year-old Mumbra-based Shree Mumbreshwar Mandir Trust, among other terrorist activities planned across Mumbai.

According to police sources, an ATS team visited the temple with one of the arrested accused, Talha Potrik, on January 28 where Potrik narrated how and what had been planned.

One of the accused had surveyed a water tank in Aurangabad to allegedly poison it, sources said
One of the accused had surveyed a water tank in Aurangabad to allegedly poison it, sources said

According to temple trustee Hiralal Gupta, the ATS team took the suspect to the kitchen and also sought details of the catering staff present during the Shrimadh Bhagwat Katha organised in December 2018. Around 40,000 devotees consumed the prasad on this day, he added.

Sources revealed that since Potrik's mission failed on the day of the Katha, he had decided to execute it on March 4 - Mahashivratri - when thousands of people would visit the temple. "We have written to the Thane police commissioner and asked for a bandobast during mega-events," said Gupta.

Civic hospitals targeted
Investigations also revealed that a BMC-run hospital in South Mumbai was on the radar of the accused. Sources in the police said that the Whatsapp chats on a group called Ummat-E-Mohammadia have been recovered along with conversations of Jainam Kuttepadi, working with Mumbai Central-based BMC hospital as a pharmacist, with one of the alleged IS handlers. Kuttepadi had also allegedly told the ATS that he had planned to test a chemical poison in a BMC hospital by pouring it into medicines.

Who would do what
On December 24, the suspects had allegedly organised a meeting at Aurangabad to plan the lone-wolf attacks (carried out by a single person without assistance) simultaneously.

Sarfaraz Ahmad, a driver, had allegedly planned a France-like attack (ramming a heavy vehicle into a dense crowd). Taki Khan's alleged plan was to make an IED bomb with a juvenile suspect's help and act as a suicide bomber in an area with a large foreign nationals' crowd. Mohsin Khan had, according to the police, studied the water pipelines and dams in Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and even a 75 lakh-litre unmanned water tank in Aurangabad.

The police said that he planned to mix poison into these reservoirs and have also recovered some related pictures from his laptop. A knife has been recovered from accused Salman Khan.

Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's sharpshooter Rashid Malabari's son and another IS suspect Mazhar Sheikh had the alleged responsibility of everyone's safe escape from India, into Nepal.

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