WHILE INTELLIGENCE agencies have identified at least 35 districts where the ISI has spread its tentacles, Aligarh has emerged as the epicentre of disruptive elements entering the State.
The city has become one of the major hubs of providing logistical support to these agents. Those who carried out the Ayodhya attack last year had stayed in Aligarh, before leaving for Akbarpur. The Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), too, was born in Aligarh.
Talking to Hindustan Times, a senior intelligence officer said on Saturday that the arrest of ISI agent Tasin Azim last week was just the tip of the iceberg.
“There are many more sleeping modules in various parts of the State,” he added.
He said even after 13 years, Babri Masjid demolition was being used to provide local support to these people.
DGP Bua Singh said the police had busted at least 30 ISI modules over the past few years. Intelligence sleuths are worried about Aligarh becoming the ‘launching pad’ for terror activities in the State.
‘Sleeping modules’ in various districts are reportedly involved in training local people with the help of ‘master trainers’ from across the border.
With strict vigil on the J&K border, they are now using Nepal and Bangladesh to move into India. While the nearly 550 km long Indo-Nepal border in UP is quite porous, softness of the Bangladesh Government has helped these agents to easily sneak into West Bengal. Most of the infiltration in UP is now from Bangladesh. Investigations in the Varanasi serial blasts had also indicated that the bomb planters had taken Bangla route.
Western UP is on the police radar with special emphasis on Karena (Muzaffarnagar), Philakwa (Ghaziabad) Meerut City, Deoband (Saharanpur) and Bulandshahr. But the police never paid attention to the eastern region. Varanasi and its adjoining areas have also been posing threat to intelligence agencies.
There has also been largescale recruitment of local youths for disruptive activities in the west.
Source said while the Jaish-e-Mohammad was the main organisation operating in the west, the Lashkar-e- Tayyeba (LeT) emerged as a major threat only after the Ayodhya attack.
Low-intensity activities with concentration in western UP had been going on for the last few years, as there had been scattered explosions in Kanpur and in some trains, but through the July 2005 attack in Ayodhya, high-intensity violence took off in the State.