A team of Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) conducted a midnight raid on Thursday and busted a terror module of Jaish-e-Mohammed, the state Director General of Police OP Singh said to the media agency on Friday. The raid was conducted on a private hostel of Deoband in Saharanpur district and seven persons were detained for questioning.
The two detained men are from Jammu and Kashmir, the DGP said adding that they are in “20-25 years” age group. “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 further 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.
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.
DGP Singh refused to comment whether the arrests are linked to last week’s Pulwama terror attack killing at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans. He said, “This is under investigation. We will give you information when it is over.”
Singh also said it is yet to be ascertained if the two suspected terrorists came to Deoband before or after Pulwama terror attack.