Yasin Bhatkal, believed to be a co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen, has reportedly told interrogators that the terror group planned to target several stadiums hosting Indian Premier League or IPL matches, but could not carry out the attacks because of the tight security at the venues.
Sources have told that on April 20, 2011, Yasin’s alleged aide Wakas Ibrahim Sad recced Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium during a match between IPL teams Mumbai Indians and the Pune Warriors.
Wakas, they alleged, bought a ticket and watched the match as he checked out security deployment inside the stadium. Two days later, Wakas and a man named Asadullah Akhtar reportedly recced the outside of the stadium to see if they could plant a bomb there. But the plan was scrapped because the security was too tight to breach.
Asadullah and Wakas also allegedly surveyed Mumbai’s Juhu Beach and beaches in Goa as possible targets. Yasin Malik too visited Goa.
Yasin and Asadullah were arrested last year and the two men are currently being interrogated by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) for their alleged role in the 2012 serial blasts in Mumbai. Three powerful blasts had ripped through crowded areas in Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Kabutarkhana in Dadar on the evening of July 13, 2011, killing at least 27 people and injuring around 150.
According to sources, after allegedly placing a bomb at Dadar, Yasin and a man named Tehseen took a cab to Kurla station and went to Kasara by train. While on the train to Kasara they came to know that the bombs had gone off as planned. From Kasara the duo went to Nashik by train and then from Nashik they took a train to Bihar, sources added.
Asadullah has reportedly revealed that he was trained in terror activities in Pakistan in 2009; interrogators alleged Yasin was trained in Pakistan in 2005-2006. Asadullah allegedly told interrogators, that after the Batla House Encounter in Delhi in 2008, he had fled to Bangladesh and then to Dubai.
From Dubai he went to Karachi and then crossed over with Wakas to India in 2010, interrogators said.