‘Raises suspicion’: Mehbooba Mufti questions arrest of suspected IS members
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‘Raises suspicion’: Mehbooba Mufti questions arrest of suspected IS members

The NIA on Wednesday searched 17 locations — six in east Delhi’s Jafarabad area, six in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha, two each in Lucknow and Hapur and one in Meerut — and arrested 10 suspects, who were allegedly planning major strikes, and targeting senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2018 18:58 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Mehbooba Mufti,NIA,IS module
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti has questioned the arrests of 10 suspected members of an Islamic State-inspired terror module, saying it seems “premature” (File Photo)(HT Photo)

Former J&K chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday questioned the recent arrests made by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, saying that declaring suspects as terrorists on the basis of ‘sutli bombs’ is “premature”.

‘’National security is supreme. But declaring suspects as terrorists on the basis of Sutli bombs, associating with the dreaded IS is premature. It has already devastated their lives and families. NIA must learn from earlier episodes in which the accused were acquitted after decades,’’ she said in a series of tweets.

‘’Arrests by NIA in the election season do raise suspicion, especially after the urban Naxal case seems to be falling apart. National security is best served by being just and inclusive, not suspicious of an entire community,” she added.

The NIA on Wednesday searched 17 locations — six in east Delhi’s Jafarabad area, six in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha, two each in Lucknow and Hapur and one in Meerut — and arrested 10 suspects, who were allegedly planning major strikes, and targeting senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders.

The arrested were said to be affiliated with Islamic State-inspired module styled as Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam.

The NIA officials also claimed to have recovered a country-made rocket launcher, 25 kilograms of explosive material for suicide belts, alarm clocks, mobile circuits, digital doorbells, 91 mobile phones, 134 Sim cards , three laptops and “sutli bombs” (thread-wrapped bombs available during Diwali) and cash amounting Rs 7.5 lakh during search operations.

However, after the pictures of recoveries went viral on social media, many people questioned NIA officials on the almost primitive nature of the weapons and explosives seized from the arrested.

Advocate MS Khan, counsel for accused, had told reporters that “what NIA has recovered includes tractor’s power nozzle which they planted and called it a rocket launcher. What they (NIA) are calling explosives are actually ‘sutli bombs’ that are used in Diwali. There is a lot of fabrication,” according to ANI news agency.

After the Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir fell in June after the Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew its support to the PDP, the former J&K chief minister has been criticizing the Narendra Modi-led central government and its agencies on various issues.

First Published: Dec 28, 2018 17:51 IST