Weeks before he was nabbed from Hyderabad on Friday in connection with the J M Road blasts here in August, Sayed Maqbool alias Zubair was on the verge of being externed from his home district of Nanded before the recently-concluded Ganpati festival by local police, in the interest of law and order.
• Police arrested 3 others in the case in Delhi (above), a fourth had been arrested from Jaipur in the August 1 blasts (L) case
According to Nanded Superintendent of Police Vitthal Jadhav, Maqbool is the Nanded district president of the All India Majlis Itehad-ul Muslimeen. The party has a lone MP in Lok Sabha, Asaduddin Owaisi of Hyderabad. Owaisi entered the spotlight in 2007, when he vowed to kill Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen.
“The Nanded police was about to initiate an externment order against Sayed Maqbool, a resident of Dharmabad in Nanded, but before that he left Nanded and went to Hyderabad, from where he was arrested by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell on Friday,” Jadhav said.
Till the Ganpati festival, Maqbool was staying at Dharmabad with his father Shaikh Sayed Haji and his brother. The family has a small house at Samtanagar. “He has been booked for different types of offences including rioting, scuffles, unlawful assembly and other crimes,” Jadhav said.
Zubair, a fruit vendor, also deals in land in several districts in the Marathwada region.
Interestingly, Asad Khan and his brother-in-law Irfan Landge — Maqbool’s co-accused — too were said to be dealing in real estate in Aurangabad, the largest town in the Marathwada region.
‘Maqbool taught others how to make ieds’
Delhi Police’s Special Cell arrested suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Zubair, 35, from his hideout in Hyderabad on October 23. He is the fifth accused in the Aug 1 JM Road blast case — four others were arrested earlier. Subair had trained associates to manufacture the improvised explosive devices (IED) in the blasts, police said.
The other accused— Asad Khan, 33, and Imran Khan, 31 — were held from South Delhi on September 26, Sayed Feroz alias Hamza, 38, was arrested on October 1 from Nizamuddin Railway Station in Delhi, and Langda Irfan Mustafa, 30, was arrested in Jaipur on October 10, police said.
Maqbool was closely associated with the other four, police said. He first came in contact with Imran through a common friend and later met Asad and Irfan. Maqbool then taught the four how to make bombs using urea, diesel and fire cracker powderat Asad’s farmhouse in Aurangabad, police said.
In April, Imran introduced Maqbool to brothers Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, the chiefs of Indian Mujahideen. Before the Aug 1 Pune serial blasts, Maqbool, Irfan, Imran and Asad discussed their plans to carry out a suicide attack on a Buddhist shrine in Bodh Gaya in Bihar in retaliation for atrocities on Muslims in Myanmar, said S N Srivastava, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell).
Their fidayeen attack plan had the approval of the Bhatkal brothers, he said. Since the Bhatkals wanted to avenge the death of Quateel Siddiqui, an IM operative who was killed in Yerawada Central Jail in Pune June 8, they decided to carry out bomb blasts in Pune first, Srivastava added. - With inputs from Agencies