The arrest of two suspects has revealed that the don aka Uncle had planned several blasts in the city
Following the arrest of Abdul Latif alias Guddu and Riyaz Ali alias Rehan from Matunga on Saturday night, investigations by the ATS indicate that a plan to blow up several targets in Mumbai was masterminded by the fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim. A senior ATS officer told MiD DAY that the duo was working for ‘Uncle’. “Dawood and Uncle are the same person and the plan was part of ‘Karachi Project’,” added a DCP attached to the ATS.
CAUGHT: Two of the suspects (covered) had confessed they had plans to blow up Mangaldas Market, two malls and a large housing complex in Borivli
The two suspects confessed they had plans to blow up Mangaldas Market (near Crawford Market), two malls, and a large housing complex in Borivli. ONGC’s administrative building Vasundhara in Bandra was also on the hit list, said ATS officials. ONGC spokesperson Madhulika Burman said that its name could have been included because of its size and reputation. “ONGC is safe and guarded by several agencies and there is no threat,” added Burman. The gravity of the threat can be gauged from the fact that ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi had himself visited several parts of North India to nab the duo last month, on a tip-off provided by the Intelligence Bureau.
The ‘Karachi Project’
Named after the Pakistani port city which has been the hotbed of crime and turned into a sanctuary for fugitives like Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, the project was conceived some time after 2003, mostly to avenge the 2002 Gujarat carnage. It was set up by the ISI and groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba, and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI), that utilise Pakistani-trained Indian-operatives to plant explosives in selected cities in India.
Part of the overall strategy was to use militant groups as an important part of its strategic arsenal to counter India’s military and economic advantages. The project has been directly responsible for the deaths of 517 Indians in 10 bomb blasts since 2005, police sources informed.
ISI trained Dawood’s lieutenants and foot soldiers to smuggle, store, and finally plant the explosives.
Seven persons were chosen for the Karachi project, and the police are still looking for the other five. Latif was given the ONGC target because he lived in the nearby Haji chawl in Behrampada, Bandra (E). Similarly, Riyaz was given Thakker mall since he had worked there, and stayed at Ratan Nagar, Dahisar.
Raghuvanshi said that the two had already done a recce of ONGC, Thakker mall and Mangaldas Market. “They had also applied for a passport, and had plans of sabotaging and setting the targets on fire,” he said.
They were not highly educated but had a working knowledge of computers, and used e-mails to contact their accomplices in Karachi.