The Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad claimed to have busted a terror module of Jaish-e-Mohammed and arrested two suspected terrorists in a midnight raid conducted at Deoband in Saharanpur district of the state, on Friday.
Director General of Police OP Singh said the raid was conducted after receiving specific input about their activities. The detained men are from Jammu and Kashmir, the DGP said adding that they are in “20-25 years” age group.
The suspected terrorists have been identified as Shahnawaz Ahmed Teli and Aqib Ahamed Malik. Primary reports suggest that Teli played a key role in recruiting terrorists on Jaish’s orders while the identity of the other accused has not been confirmed yet.
“Yesterday, after inputs two suspected terrorists were caught from Saharanpur by our ATS wing. They are linked to JeM and both are from Kashmir. Shahnawaz is from Kulgam and Aqib is from Pulwama. Two weapons and live cartridges seized,” Singh said.
The DGP also said, “Of the two Shahnawaz is said to be a grenade expert. We will seek transit remand and investigate when they came here from Kashmir and who is funding them and what was their target. We are in touch with Jammu and Kashmir police.”
The raid was conducted as part of an investigation based on intelligence inputs to the ATS. Uttar Pradesh DGP OP Singh confirmed that one Jaish-e-Mohammed operative was picked up during the raid. He said the ATS acted only after verifying the intelligence inputs received by the police.
UP Deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said it is a message to the enemies of the nation. “UP ATS has arrested two suspected JeM terrorists from Saharanpur and recovered arms and incriminating material from them. This is a message to the enemies of the nation that terrorists will not be able to hide anymore,” Maurya was quoted by news agency ANI.
Singh said the ATS has recovered video clips and messages from their mobiles, which would be sent for forensic examination.
A press statement released by UP police said Shahnawaz hails from Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir and is an active member of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed. Police said he was in Deoban to recruit youths for his organisation.
Aqib is from Pulwama in south Kashmir and was also trying to find new recruits for Jaish-e-Mohammed, the police said.
Police said the ATS received input from an “alert student”, who informed about some youths staying at Deobad without taking admission in any course and trying to find recruits for Jaish-e-Mohammed. A team of ATS raided their rooms and recovered pistols and live cartridges among other articles.
The raids were conducted with the help from Jammu and Kashmir police, the UP police said in its statement.