In a raid conducted jointly by anti-terror agencies and Railway Police, suspected explosive materials and detonators have been found in the Kausa area of Mumbra in Thane district. Nine detonators have also been seized in the raid. The police have ruled out any terror angle in the case though after an investigation.
The police say the arrested trio has criminal records. One of the accused, Mahinsa Ganur, had a dispute with a man called Ismail Shaikh and to trap Shaikh the accused wanted to plant the explosives and detonators under a car parked at his premises. Shaikh has a business and deals with old cars. The explosives were acquired by the accused trio from a place called Reti Bunder in Dombivli suburb of Thane.
According to the police, one of the accused Shah Alam Sheikh, a Railway Police Force informer, actually tipped off the police about the explosives and detonators after hatching the conspiracy. The Railway Police got in touch with the Thane Police and the Anti-Terror Squad. But after the recovery the police questioned Shah Alam and during questioning he revealed the details of the plot. Shah Alam had also told the police about the presence of RDX but when no RDX was found the police got suspicious about the whole thing, a source said.
The explosives are used in nearby stone quarries and the accused hatched the plot as they wanted to blackmail Ismail Shaikh and get some money, police said.
According to sources, the raids were conducted after surveillance and intelligence tip offs that were worked upon by the Crime Branch, Railway Police and the Maharashtra ATS. The police believe the tip offs were provided by the accused to make it look like a terror plot.
The police say the explosive material recovered is ammonium nitrate which is used to cause explosions and could be also used to make IEDs that have been used in several terror attacks in Mumbai – which is why they are now investigating as to how the accused could procure the explosives and detonators without being detected.