The National Investigation Agency (NIA) early on Wednesday busted an Islamic State (IS) module in Hyderabad, detaining 11 youths who were allegedly plotting powerful bomb blasts to target VVIPs and crowded places in the city and intended to trigger communal riots by placing cow and buffalo meat at the Bhagyalakshmi temple at the base of the iconic Charminar.
The IS module was, according to the agency, procuring the meat to be placed at temples to spark riots during the ongoing holy month of Ramzan. The arrested youths, who held regular jobs and were in touch with IS handler and chief recruiter for India, Shafi Armar, had been under the NIA’s scanner for the past 4-5 months.
It was a telephonic conversation on the evening of June 25 that prompted agencies to swoop down on the suspects. In the conversation, mentioned by an NIA source to TOI, a suspect asked the person on the other line to “bring four pieces of cow meat and four pieces of buffalo meat that day and seven pieces of cow meat the next day”. The attacks were likely to be carried out in the next few days and the module’s funds were being routed through Dubai.
The busting of the ‘Hyderabad module’ is significant as it is the first big, well-armed and organised IS-inspired group in India. While the previous Roorkee module had arms, the potency of the IED material recovered was not as worrying. Similarly, the panIndia module, headed by Mumbai man Mudabbir Sha