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Delhi Police take down terror alert posters after Pakistani seminary identifies ‘operatives’ as its students

Special Cell, the anti-terror unit of Delhi police, had on November 20 released the pictures of two young men claiming that they are members of a terror module and may carry out a terror strike in the national Capital.

delhi Updated: Dec 02, 2018 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi,delhi police,terror alert
Delhi Police had put up the above poster claiming that the men in it were members of a terror module and may strike in Delhi. But the posters were pulled down after a clarification by a Pakistani seminary. (HT Photo )

The Delhi police took down posters it had put up across the city on November 20, showing two alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad operatives, within a week after a seminary in Pakistan claimed on Monday that they were its students and had “never visited India”.

Special Cell, the anti-terror unit of Delhi police, had released the pictures of two young men claiming that they are members of a terror module and may carry out a terror strike in the national Capital. The alert was generated two days after a grenade attack on a religious gathering in Amritsar killed three people and injured 20 others.

A police hand-out photo showed two young men leaning against a milestone on which “Firozpur 9 kilometres, Delhi 360 kilometres” was inscribed in Urdu. The poster had the same photo with a message to the citizens that if they spot these men, they should alert the police. Phone numbers of the station house officer of Paharganj police station were given on the posters. However, the poster did not proclaim the two men to be terrorists.

Police said they assumed that this was Firozpur, a town in India’s Punjab, which is just 133 km from Amritsar and hence security in Delhi was put on high alert.

However, six days later, on November 26, Mufti Zahid, administrator of Jamia Imdadia in Pakistan’s Faisalabad city identified the men in Delhi police’s posters as Nadeem and Tayyab — both students of his seminary who had never visited India, Pakistani newspaper The Dawn reported on its website on Tuesday.

The report on the portal read, “In a press conference where the two boys were also present, Mufti Zahid said both of them were students of the seminary for the last couple of years. He said both had visited Lahore some days ago to attend the Tablighi congregation at Raiwind and then went to Ganda Singh border to watch the flag-lowering ceremony. He said they had taken pictures along a milestone which showed the distance to Delhi and Ferozepur and shared a picture on the social media (sic).”

The same picture was used by the Delhi police and the Indian media, the article on the website read.

The police took down posters the same day when Zahid addressed the press conference. An officer from the special cell confirmed that the posters were taken down on Monday. However, he said that they had received the alert from intelligence agencies and that its credibility was not questionable.

Delhi police public relation officer, deputy commissioner of police Madur Verma said it was a “classified input shared by the superior agencies”.

“Agencies concerned had conveyed to us that these two men could create trouble and because we wanted to sensitise people in a specific area, the posters were put up. Posters were removed after the purpose was served. Such inputs are meant for a specific time duration and a particular area. It is a usual exercise,” DCP Verma said.

First Published: Nov 30, 2018 08:24 IST