The National Investigation Agency has unearthed a devious plot by Indian terror operatives, in touch with their Islamic State handlers, of planting beef inside Hyderabad's Bhagyalakshmi temple to spark riots during the month of Ramzan, according to the Times of India. There was also a plan to trigger powerful blasts targeting VVIPs in the city.
The report stated that the operatives were in fact "procuring the meat to be placed at temples" when NIA sleuths busted the "terror module" linked to the Islamic State and detained 11 youths, including a techie after conducting searches at different locations in the old city.
The NIA also recovered weapons, ammunition, urea, acid, some chemicals, electronic gadgets and other incriminating material besides Rs 15 lakh in cash from their possession, officials of (NIA) and Hyderabad Police said, adding the youths were working at the behest of IS handlers.
"Searches were conducted by NIA over some suspected terror activities that were planned to be carried out in the city...11 youths including a techie have been detained and Rs 15 lakh cash besides some explosive material has been seized from them," a senior intelligence officer told PTI.
Based on credible information that some youths hailing from Hyderabad and their accomplices have entered into criminal conspiracy to wage war against India by collecting weapons and explosive materials to commit terrorist acts, the searches were conducted at at least 10 locations with the assistance of Hyderabad Police, the officer said.
Meanwhile, the raids also gave the BJP ammunition to attack the Telangana government and accused it of displaying "criminal neglect" in preventing Hyderabad from becoming a "safe haven" for terror elements.
"NIA busted an ISIS module in Hyderabad and raids are still underway. BJP questions TS (Telangana State) government on its criminal neglect in preventing Hyderabad and old city from becoming safe havens for terrorists," BJP state unit spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao said in a statement.
An FIR, that the Hindu accessed, stated that “the accused and their accomplices from Hyderabad and other parts of the country have entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against government of India by collecting weapons and explosive materials to target prominent places, public places, religious places, malls, markets, public properties and in particular sensitive government buildings in Hyderabad and other places.”
What led the NIA to the second such major bust this year is a purported telephone conversation between the operatives in which they discuss meat procurement.
"This was the clincher for us to pick up the module, Our assessment is that the IS-inspired youths, who were in touch with a Syria-based handler identified as 'Amir' but suspected to be Shafi Armar alias Yousuf al Hindi, were planning to carry out bomb blasts to target VVIPs and crowded places like malls and shopping centres, including around Charminar," an NIA officer told TOI.
(With inputs from agencies)