The nine people arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Wednesday were reportedly planning a chemical attack with an intent to cause mass casualty. According to sources, the arrested nine were plotting to mix some poisonous substance with food or water at some big event, possibly the ongoing Kumbh mela in UP's Prayagraj.
The ATS has shared its findings in this regard with authorities and agencies associated with the Kumbh Mela 2019, sources said.
A chemical bottle labelled as Hydrogen Peroxide was seized from their possession and later sent for chemical analysis to find out the content of the mixture. The ATS has seized some white liquid chemical, white powder, over 20 SIM cards six knives, six pen drives, 20 mobile phones, more than six laptops, more than six WiFi routers, hard drives, modems, dongles and RAMs.
One of the arrested suspects has been identified as Mazhar Malbari, son of underworld fugitive Rashid Malbari, who is a sharp shooter of Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company. Another suspect was reportedly in touch with ISIS handlers outside the country.
The arrests followed searches in Amrut Nagar, Kausa, Moti Baug and Almas Colony areas in Thane's Mumbra township and in Aurangabad's Kaisar Colony, Rahat Colony and Damdi Mahal areas on Monday late night and Tuesday early morning.
A case has been registered under Indian Penal Code's Section 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Bombay Police Act.