Uttar Pradesh police was aflutter after it received news that the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad plans to interrogate some “VVIP” from the state in connection with the Malegaon blast case.
In the absence of any official communication, speculation was rife about which places were on the ATS radar. Late Monday, fingers were pointing at some Hindutva leaders in Gorakhpur — which has of late become hotbed of communal forces — while reports about possible raids in Allahabad and Varanasi also surfaced. ATS Lucknow, too, was flooded with calls about their Mumbai counterparts’ action plan. There were even queries from state Home department.
Deputy Inspector-General, ATS, Rajiv Krishna told HT that the Mumbai ATS had not shared any information about their plans to question any leader.
Sources said that senior police officers from Gorakhpur kept calling state ATS officers to find out the name so they could take security measures. It is believed that the name of some senior BJP leader was doing the rounds.
Political temperatures shot up in Gorakhpur as BJP MP Yogi Adityanath blasted the Congress-led UPA government on the issue. He challenged the ATS team to reach the town with substantial evidence.
Adityanath — who said he doesn’t know Sadhvi Pragya Thakur — slammed the Congress for tarnishing the image of Hindu leaders for political reasons. Instead of creating confusion, he said, the ATS should clear the name of accused.
Congress district unit president Sanjeev Kumar Singh pointed out that the disclosure of names of the Hindu outfit had exposed the nexus between communal forces and terrorism. The local BJP MLA, R.M.D. Agrawal, refused to make any comment.