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Blast in Kushinagar mosque: Imam, three others held

  Updated: Nov 13, 2019 23:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

Police on Wednesday arrested four people, including a cleric, in connection with a blast of moderate intensity in a mosque in Turkapatti area of Kushinagar three days ago.

The police had registered an FIR against seven people. Among the four arrested is the Imam of the mosque, Maulana Azmuddin, while three others are absconding.

Initially, an explosion in inverter battery was cited as the reason behind the blast, which shattered the window panes and damaged the ceiling and walls of the mosque on Monday afternoon when it was empty.

Imam of the mosque Maulana Azmuddin , a resident of West Bengal, was arrested along with Izhar, Ashik Ansari and Javed Ansari, after police investigation revealed that the blast occurred due to explosive material stored in the mosque.

Police said the explosives were brought in a sack and kept in the mosque by four suspects who were being traced. Raids were underway to arrest them, they said. “The Imam told the police during interrogation that one Mohammad Haji Kutbuddin of the same village brought something in a plastic bag and hung it from the mosque’s roof with the help of Izhar, Ashik, Javed and Munna . Kutbuddin told the Imam that the bag contained cleaning products brought to clean the mosque. The Imam himself is under scanner as he didn’t check the bag hung by Haji Kutbuddin, who wanted to spread terror by carrying out explosions,” said SP Kushinagar Vinod Mishra, adding that the explosive substance was of low quality, capable of triggering a low intensity blast. He said investigation was underway and ATS and LIU had joined the police to hunt for the absconding suspects.

The case was registered against the seven people under Sections 147(punishment for rioting) 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 120B (whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit an offence punishable with death, imprisonment for life or rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years or upwards) of the IPC , Section 5 of Explosives Act (punishment for making or possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances) and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act (molesting a person due to prejudice of employment or business), said police.