“They tried to get close to him, but due to heavy security presence they could trigger the blasts only in Patna [during Mr. Modi’s Hunkar Rally last October]”

National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar said on Wednesday that Narendra Modi was the main target of the four arrested so far in connection with the Patna and Bodh Gaya blasts.

“While the four accused [arrested on Wednesday] are being interrogated, the others arrested earlier have disclosed that their target was Narendra Modi. They had also conducted reconnaissance at his public meeting venues in Ambikapur [Chhattisgarh], Delhi and Kanpur. They tried to get close to him, but due to heavy security presence they could trigger the blasts only in Patna [during Mr. Modi’s Hunkar Rally last October],” Mr. Kumar said, adding that the cases were cracked through an excellent coordination with the central intelligence agencies and the local police.

One of the suspects detained in connection with the blasts is a minor and will be produced before the Juvenile Justice Board. Searches conducted so far have led to purported seizure of bomb-making components. Some more arrests on harbouring charges are also likely.

Following the Patna blasts, the NIA first conducted a raid last November at Iram Lodge in Ranchi, where Haidar, Mojibullah, Imtiyaz Ansari and Numan had stayed, and seized 27 improvised explosive devices. The explosives used in the blasts had been procured from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, according to the agency.

“We seized explosives, detonators and analogue watches from their lodge-room. The explosions in Bodh Gaya were carried out by the outfit to avenge atrocities on Rohingyas,” said Mr. Kumar, adding that the NIA had also arrested all the persons accused of carrying out last year’s Dilsukhnagar blasts in Hyderabad.

During interrogation, top Indian Mujahideen suspect Mohammad Ahmed Zarar Sidibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal had also mentioned accused Haidar as Black Beauty, stating that he had first met him in Darbhanga. In January 2011, when Bhatkal went to Ranchi from Goa, he met Haidar again.