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On IM's hit list: More Modi rallies, American tourists in Rajasthan

November 06, 2013 16:01 IST

On IM's hit list: More Modi rallies, American tourists in Rajasthan

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Vicky Nanjappa

The danger is not over for the Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. A probe by the National Investigation Agency has revealed that the Indian Mujahideen who allegedly planted bombs at his rally in Patna has plans to target his other gatherings as well. Also on the hit list are American tourists in Rajasthan.    

The future attacks have been mastermind by three key Indian Mujahideen operatives -- Tehsin Akthar, Javed Mohammad and Ilyad Bakar, who planned the Patna blasts.

Following the arrest of IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Assadullah Akthar, the trio has taken over the reins of the terror outfit. And July’s blasts at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya was their first assignment, according to the NIA.

Investigators probing the Patna blasts told rediff.com that Tehsin was a known name, but Mohammad and Barkar are new recruits. “They have made it to the top rung in a short time. They hail from Bihar and have focused their attention on setting up IM’s Ranchi module.” 

The Bodh Gaya attack was a trial run of sorts for them in order to avenge the killings of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. NIA investigators, who did not get much information from Bhatkal about the Bodh Gaya blasts, said that it was a probe into the Patna blasts, which helped them establish this connection. All involved in the two blasts are IM operatives belonging to the Darbhanga and Ranchi modules.

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Image: Narendra Modi at the rally in Patna which was hit by blasts


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On IM's hit list: More Modi rallies, American tourists in Rajasthan

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Vicky Nanjappa

According to the NIA, Akthar, Mohammad and Bakar worked with the same team to plan the Bodh Gaya and Patna blasts. Although Yasin was in know of the July operation he had no role to play, as he was away from India. During the Bodh Gaya blasts he was in Nepal.    

The new module, which had started operating out Ranchi, following the increased heat on the Darbhanga module decided to target important people and places to make an impression. They were aware that the Bodh Gaya blasts would help them draw the attention of Lashkar-e-Tayiba’s Hafiz Saeed, who has been planning to avenge the attacks on Rohingya Muslims, said NIA insiders.   

Keeping this in mind, they targeted Modi’s Patna rally. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence is reportedly training the Babbar Khalsa for the purpose. 

Investigations have also found that they have plans to target more Modi rallies. The IM, which has stopped claiming responsibility for attacks, feels that they will get support of local Muslims if they targeted the Gujarat chief minister. 

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Image: Tourists visit Amber palace in Jaipur
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters

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On IM's hit list: More Modi rallies, American tourists in Rajasthan

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Vicky Nanjappa

Apart from Modi, investigations have revealed a plan by the IM to target American tourists in Rajasthan. Arrested IM operatives confessed during their interrogation that in the next two months the outfit plans to attack tourist attractions in Jaipur. A recce has already been conducted in Jaipur and Jodhpur and the plan is to plant 10 bombs at crowded locations in the Rajasthan capital. The state police has been alerted by the Intelligence Bureau about the possible strike.

As investigations progress, the NIA has learnt that the growing menace of Tehsin and his two other accomplices has to be curbed. The IM has been quick to get back on its feet following the arrest of Yasin.

The trio not only planned the Bodh Gaya and Patna blasts in Rachi, but they also assembled the bombs and handpicked their team of six to carry out the attacks, NIA sources pointed out. They assembled smaller bombs of a lower intensity so that they could carry more explosives and plant them.

The same modus operandi was used in the Patna and Bodh Gaya blasts and now the forensic team has revealed that the composition of bombs was also identical.

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Image: A pilgrim walks under Lord Buddha's holy tree at the Mahabodhi temple compound
Photographs: Reuters

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