The low-intensity serial bomb blasts in Pune were planned and executed jointly by an Indian Mujahideen (IM) module and a local terror module headed by fugitive terror suspect Fayaz Kagzi, which was involved in the Aurangabad arms haul case, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief Rakesh Maria said here on Thursday. The ATS arrested three more persons on Wednesday, taking the total number of arrests in the case to seven.
Syed Aarif alias Kashif Biyabani (32) was arrested from Aurangabad and Munib Iqbal Memon (31) and Farukh Bagwan (31) were arrested from Pune. Kashif’s has been described by the ATS as an important arrest as he is alleged to be the link that scouted for recruits for the IM and introduced them to Fayaz Kagzi. He is a real estate agent from Aurangabad and also studies law there.
“Kashif was originally a Fayaz Kagzi hand. His name had figured in the German bakery blast case. After the arrest of [the key 2008 Mumbai attacks plotter] Zabiuddin Ansari, his statement was recorded again by the Crime Branch as his name had resurfaced. It was he who identified boys and put them on to Fayaz Kagzi who in turn put them on to Riyaz Bhatkal [one of Indian Mujahideen’s top three commanders]. He has connections in Marathwada, Pune and Ahmednagar,” Mr. Maria said.
The other two accused, Mr. Maria said, were aware of the conspiracy and assisted Feroz Feroz Sayyed, one of the four arrested earlier in the case, in making fake documents.
All the three were produced in a court in Pune and were remanded in police custody till January 1. “We have recovered three computers, a laptop and a 7.65 mm pistol with four live rounds. Further investigation is going on,” he said.
The four accused arrested previously — Feroz Sayyed, Irfan Landge, Imran Khan and Asad Khan — had undergone training in assembling Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at Asad’s farmhouse in Aurangabad in 2010, the ATS chief said. Syed Maqbool (a resident of Hyderabad who was picked up on terror charges by the Delhi police recently) imparted training to them.
“Feroz is one of those who planted the bombs on August 1 in Pune. It was in his rented house in Kasarwadi that the bombs were assembled. Fake identity proofs and other material too were prepared in that house. We have sent some material for forensic testing,” Mr. Maria said.
It was Feroz who rented out a floor to the recently arrested accused Farukh, the ATS chief said. Farukh ran a computer animation centre in Pune in that space. Feroz also allegedly owns a travel agency and a few tailor shops in Pune. Munib worked as a master cutter in the tailoring units.
The ATS is now on the lookout for three more planters, Fayaz Kagzi, Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal.