GANDHINAGAR: Based on its interrogation of two suspected ISIS operatives who were nabbed last year, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has exposed a sinister plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to reports, the Gujarat ATS has filed a chargesheet in which it claimed that an unidentified associate of one of the two men arrested by it last year had actually talked about assassinating Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Yeah let's take Modi out with a sniper rifle," is a line from a conversation cited by the Gujarat ATS in its chargesheet, attributed to an associate of Ubed Ahmed Mirza.
The ATS arrested Mirza and Mohammad Kasim Stimberwala in October last year and it filed a chargesheet against them before the chief judicial magistrate at Ankleshwar in Bharuch district last month.
The Gujarat ATS cited a WhatsApp chat between Mirza and his associate, identified only as 'Ferrari', on September 10, 2016, where the former talked about buying pistols, in its chargesheet.
In response, 'Ferrari' said, "Yeah, let's take (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi out with a sniper rifle Insha-Allah", the Gujarat ATS claimed in its chargesheet.
When 'Ferrari' mentioned a Russian-made gun, Mirza promptly replied, "I want it".
The Gujarat ATS also cited another WhatsApp chat between them on July 26, 2016, during which Mirza was told that the ISIS handlers had asked its modules and lone-wolf attackers in India to use machetes and big chopping knives to target people.
Instead of taking the risk of buying guns and assembling explosives, one can target people, "especially foreign citizens", using chopping knives, Ferrari told Mirza during the WhatsApp conversation.
The Gujarat ATS has, meanwhile, begun the process to identify the other people who figure in these chats, including 'Ferrari', claimed a report by DNA.
The ATS has alleged that Stimberwala and Mirza were "highly radicalised by the Jihadi ideology of Islamic State and were actively planning lone-wolf attacks on Jews".
While Stimberwala worked as a laboratory technician at a hospital in Ankleshwar, Mirza was a practising lawyer at the Surat district court.
Abdullah el-Faisal, a radical preacher based in Jamaica, and suspected ISIS handler Shafi Armar have been shown as absconding accused in the charge sheet.
ATS claimed Stimberwala and Mirza were in touch with el-Faisal and Armar to plan attacks on Jews in India. They conducted a recce of some of the targets and were planning to send radicalised youths outside India to take part in terrorist acts, the charge sheet said.
Both have been charged under IPC sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121-A (sedition) and 125 (waging war against any Asiatic power in alliance with India), apart from the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
(With PTI inputs)