Lucknow: Two terror suspects—Ehtesham and Faizan—who are at present in UP Police remand, have confessed that they were planning to target historical buildings of Old City in Lucknow and had also videographed the Vidhan Bhawan (state assembly) and made futile attempts to enter the secretariat for a reconnaissance.
“The idea was to trigger blasts at key installations to create panic,” said a senior member of the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) team which interrogated them. The two are at present in ATS custody. Sources said the duo had also revealed about their plans to target a congregation of Shia community somewhere in the western parts of the state in the near future. The two were arrested as a part of a crackdown on terror suspects across five states including Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Bihar apart from UP.
One of the suspects, Umar alias Nizam, who was arrested by Mumbai ATS in the crackdown, was reportedly scheduled to visit Bijnor in the near future to put into shape the designs of his two UP counterparts. The UP ATS has communicated the details collected from Faizan and Ehtesham to Mumbai police. The two were produced before the court of special chief judicial magistrate in Lucknow on Friday and have been remanded in police custody.
Faizan is also believed to have revealed in detail how the group was planning to procure gunpowder to prepare improvised explosive device (IEDs) and had contacted a Bijnore-based firecracker manufacturer and given Rs 12,500 as advance payment as well. Investigators were now on the lookout for the middleman who was engaged by the terror suspects to procure the material. The cracker manufacturer has already been questioned by the ATS and is believed to have confirmed that such a deal was under way.
“More than causing any serious injuries, the idea was to create panic and in the absence of any first-hand training in handling weapons and explosives, they were trying to put together whatever they could procure easily, to execute their plan,” said an ATS officer adding that the duo was in touch with other members of the module in Maharashtra and the intelligence agencies got a hint of their nefarious designs following random interception of calls. “Their call details have confirmed that they were in touch on regular basis,” he said.