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Pune Blasts Planned After Murder of Terror Accused

Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad, which today arrested three more members of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen in August 1 Pune blasts case, said the conspiracy began after the murder of Qatil Siddiqui, an accused in German Bakery blast case, at Pune's Yerawada jail.

"The plan to carry out blasts started immediately after Siddiqui was killed," said Rakesh Maria, ATS chief, here.

ATS today arrested Sayyed Arif alias Kashif Biyabani (32), Munib Iqbal Memon (31) and Farooq Bagwan (31). A Pune court remanded them in ATS's custody till January 1.

Maria said these three were arrested after the ATS took into custody Firoze Sayyed, Irfan Landge, Imran Khan and Asad Khan from the Delhi police in the present case.

Biyabani was the one who identified potential recruits for IM, and put them in touch with Fayyaz Kagzi, a wanted accused in the German Bakery case, currently in the custody of Saudi Arabian authorities. "Kagzi directed them to IM founder Iqbal Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhatkal," Maria added.

Biyabani had connections in Marathwada, Pune, Ahmednagar, Maria said, adding that Memon and Bagwan procured SIM cards that were used in phones used in the conspiracy.

According to ATS, Firoze was one of the planters, and it is now looking for two others. Maria said that Firoze, Asad, Irfan and Imran underwent training to assemble improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Asad's farm-house in Aurangabad.

"The training was imparted by Maqbool Siraj, arrested by Delhi police in October." ATS recovered three computers, a laptop, a pistol and four live rounds from the accused. Memon worked as a master cutter in Firoze's tailoring shop while Bagwan had a computer animation centre on the mezzanine floor of one of the shops of Firoze, he said.

On August 1 this year four low-intensity explosions took place in Pune, injuring one person. Siddiqui was murdered by two inmates of Yerawada jail earlier, allegedly because of his involvement in 'anti-national' act.

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