On Sunday, a day before the nation was to celebrate its 60th Republic Day, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh Police gunned down two suspected militants in Noida, a few kilometres from Delhi.
In the past nine years, the Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested 25 alleged terrorists and gunned down one terrorist, belonging to various outfits. All these arrests had one thing in common — they either came on the eve of August 15 or January 26 or just a few days before it. Incidentally, after Y.S. Dadwal took over as the Delhi Police commissioner in June 2007, no such encounter or arrests have taken place in Delhi.
In the raids conducted from 2000 to 2007, the police claimed recovery of a total of 26.9 kilograms RDX and 16 detonators from the alleged terrorists.
The last arrest conducted by Delhi Police in an alleged case of a terror module was on January 25, 2007. The Special Cell claimed to have nabbed a Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) terrorist near the Seelampur Metro Station.
The city police conducted one more operation in association with the Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police on August 11, 2007, barely four days ahead of Independence Day. But this time the raid was conducted in Jammu and one accused was killed, while another was arrested.
Senior police officers, however, said there was nothing more to the heightened rate of raids and encounters before such national holidays than the fact that “terrorists became active” around these days.
“We arrest them on the basis of specific intelligence inputs and the recoveries aren’t fake. Even during their disclosures they (terrorists) have admitted they were sent to disrupt the celebrations,” asserted a senior police officer.