India’s home minister said on Wednesday that a bid by terrorists from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to set off explosions in public places was foiled with the arrest of two operatives in the national capital.
Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters that two terrorists were arrested from the Nizamuddin locality, where New Delhi’s main rail station is located, after a tip-off from intelligence agencies and work by three state police agencies.
Chidambaram said it was “an important module” of the group that had been planning a “terrorist incident in Delhi.”
“They were planning to detonate a bomb or more than one bomb in a crowded locality,” he said, citing initial reports from the police investigation.
“Central agencies and police busted their plan.”
“Some other persons in other states have been detained,” he said.
Delhi police sources said they had co-ordinated with police forces in Jammu-Kashmir and Jharkhand in the operation.
Neither he nor the police would disclose when the men were detained.
The pair, and others who have been detained in connection with the alleged plot, are to be produced before a local court, Chidambaram said.
Though VVIPs were not being targeted, the group planned to hit some vital installations and conduct blasts in public places, the minister said.
LeT has been blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 people dead.
The arrests, if followed by convictions, would be an intelligence coup for the Indian security forces which have been criticised for failing to prevent, or catch those responsible for, a string of blasts over the last few years.
New Delhi has been a frequent target for terror attacks.
In September, a bomb outside Delhi High Court killed 14 people, while in early February a bomb blast badly wounded an Israeli diplomat in the heart of the city near the prime minister’s residence.