13/7 blasts: Bhatkal planned to blow up police van in Dadar
Mumbai: Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, who is behind bars in the July 13, 2011 blasts case, had planned to blow up a police van in the crowded Dadar area, but could not do so as it had moved away by the time he reached there, sources in the Maharashtra ATS said.
“He wanted to kill the policemen in the van,” the sources said.
Bhatkal could not find the vehicle on the fateful day after which he planted the fourth explosive in a nearby dustbin, which failed to blow up, they said.
Three powerful blasts had ripped through crowded areas in Mumbai on the evening of July 13, 2011, killing at least 21 people and injuring 141.
The first explosion had rocked Zaveri Bazar, a popular jewellery market, at 6.50 pm. A minute later, another blast shook the busy business area Opera House. The third blast ripped through the crowded Dadar (West) area in Central Mumbai at 7.04 pm.
Interrogation of Bhatkal has revealed that the home-grown terror group had actually planted four explosives at four spots, but the fourth bomb, placed in a dustbin near a crowded flower market at Dadar (East) area, did not go off.
“Bhatkal and wanted accused Tehseen Akhtar Shaikh, who carried two explosives with them, had plans to attach a bomb to a police van usually stationed near the flower market at Dadar (East).
“However, on that particular day, the van was not found by Bhatkal in the area. He was running out of time, because of which he placed the explosive in a dustbin. But the bomb did not explode,” said an ATS official after interrogating Yasin and his aide Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez.
However, the unexploded bomb was never found, the officer said adding that, “It might have been lifted away along with other waste by the garbage trucks.”
On Wednesday, Bhatkal and his aide Akhtar were arrested here by the ATS in the 2011 Mimi terror attack case after being brought to the city from New Delhi. The two were produced before a MCOCA court yesterday, which remanded them to ATS custody till February 18.