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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Kushinagar mosque blast key suspect arrested

cities Updated: Nov 14, 2019 20:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

LUCKNOW: One of the key suspects behind the blast in a Kushinagar mosque on Monday, Mohd Haji Qutubuddin, was arrested by investigation agencies on Thursday after he remained elusive for three days, senior police officials said.

A senior state police official said the local police and UP Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), who were roped in for the investigation suspecting terror link behind the blast, were quizzing Qutubuddin in connection with the explosion.

Earlier on Thursday, a local court granted two days police custody of four other accused arrested on Wednesday in the case after police investigation revealed that the blast occurred due to explosive material stored at the mosque in Turqapatti area of Kushinagar, the official added.

He said the imam of the mosque, Maulana Azmuddin, a resident of West Bengal, along with three others Izhar, Ashiq Ansari and Javed Ansari were arrested in the matter. He said the Kushinagar police had lodged an FIR against seven people after it was established that explosive material was stored at the mosque.

The official said the police custody of the four accused will start from 8 am on Friday. He said they all will be brought face to face with Qutubuddin to extract more details about their intent behind storing explosives in the mosque. He said the samples of explosive traces have been sent to the Agra Forensic Science Laboratory for further examination

He said the imam and the three others had initially tried to mislead police by stating that an explosion in an inverter battery was the reason behind the blast, which shattered the window panes and damaged the ceiling and walls of the mosque. However, nobody was injured in the blast.

The police later discovered that Qutubuddin, who is a local resident, had brought the explosives to the mosque in a sack and stored it there. This was in the knowledge of the other accused arrested in the matter.

The case registered against the seven people was under Sections 147 (rioting), 295 (defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and Section 5 of Explosives Act (possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances).