The chief of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Vineet Agrawal, said categorically on Wednesday that no recce has been done in Mumbai, nor any weapons or explosives were found in the wake of the busting of a terror module by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on Tuesday.
“We keep getting terror alerts. But as far as this case is concerned, Mumbai and Maharashtra are safe,” the ATS chief told mediapersons.
Agrawal’s comments came a day after the Delhi Police nabbed six persons, including one Jaan Mohammed Shaikh (47) of Mumbai, in an anti-terror operation, sparking concerns in the country’s commercial capital.
“Shaikh took a train from Mumbai Central for Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi on September 13. He was arrested by a Delhi Police team from Kota in Rajasthan on Tuesday,” Agrawal told mediapersons.
He added that the Maharashtra ATS is coordinating with the Delhi Police in this regard and a team will leave for the national capital later on Wednesday to take the custody of Shaikh for his interrogation by the police.
“We have asked for a copy of the FIR from the Delhi Police to know more about the case. We want to know the exact conspiracy. We will also share whatever information we have with the Delhi Police,” Agrawal said.
The Mumbai Police have also questioned Shaikh’s family members who live in the Sion area of Dharavi, and the police are already aware of his old crime records in Mumbai, he said.
The accused has 20-year-old connections with absconding mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and worked as his henchman here. He was also involved in crimes like assault and firing, which are registered with the Pydhonie police station.
Shaikh was jobless before he bought a taxi and was paying the EMI for it. He was said to be under financial stress.
To a query, Agrawal said that the Central intelligence agencies did not issue any alert to Maharashtra Police or the ATS in this matter.
“Then how is it an ‘intelligence failure’ on our part? The case is of Delhi Police and they have all the rights to make arrests,” the ATS chief said.
Earlier, Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil had said that there is “no intel failure” and the state government will cooperate fully with the Delhi Police in this “extremely sensitive case”.
His comments came after a high-level review meeting with DGP Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale, the ATS chief and others, following which he gave a detailed briefing to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.