Messages on water tanks announcing the impending entry of the terrorist organisation ISIS into Uttar Pradesh have rung alarm bells.
Twice in four months, such messages have surfaced in the most populous state. In August, the message ‘ISIS coming soon’ was found scribbled by a coal piece on a water tank in the busy Phulapti market in Agra. Now, a message ‘ISIS’ has been spotted atop another water tank in Gonda. The water tank was located on the premises of BHD Inter College in Dhanepur market of Mujehna area of Gonda.
The message was hurriedly cleaned up by the Dhanepur police after it started attracting attention and creating panic. Unlike Agra where there was none to own up the act, here in Gonda sources confirmed that the Sashastra Seem Bal (SSB) jawans who were guarding the sealed ballot boxes of the panchayat polls that were kept in the inter college caught three youths. Those youths, sources said, were found on top of the water tank taking a selfie with the ISIS scribbled in the background.
The SSB had later handed over the youths to the police who, strangely, let them off possibly after the intervention of a local leader. Dhanepur station officer (SO) Devendra Pandey, however, denied that the youths were handed over to the police. All that he admitted was that the message ‘ISIS’ that was spotted on Sunday was quickly cleaned up on that day itself.
“On Monday we again got the walls cleaned further,” he said. Angry at the police letting off the youths, some locals as well as politicians are planning to meet the principal secretary (home) to demand that a case of treason be registered against the youths. Significantly, a suspected ISI agent Ejaz was only recently arrested from Meerut. During his grilling, he is reported to have told the police that the functioning of Pakistan’s ISI was much like the ISIS. His six-day police remand ended on Monday.
Several youths from the state have also been on the police radar for either their suspected involvement with ISIS or their being ‘sympathizers’ of the terrorist organisation. But there were also cases of youths from the state wanting to take on the ISIS.