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JeM operatives wanted to radicalise 12 madarsa students: ATS officials

Inspector general (IG) of police of ATS, Asim Arun confirmed that the names of at least 12 students including five from Uttar Pradesh and seven from Kashmir studying in different institutes in Deoband region have surfaced during rigorous interrogation with the two terror suspects.

lucknow Updated: Mar 06, 2019 09:39 IST
Rohit K Singh
Rohit K Singh
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Jaish-e-Muhammad,JeM,shahnawaz teli
Lucknow: Photographs of Shahnawaz Ahmed Teli (L) and Aqib Ahmad Malik who were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police ATS in Deoband, Friday 22(PTI)

Two alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) operatives, Shahnawaz Teli, 31, and Aquib Ahmad Malik, 25, had zeroed in on 12 students of local Islamic institutions (madarsa) of Deoband, Saharanpur for recruitment purpose and radicalising them to join the terror group, said UP Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) officials.

They said the duo was preparing two of the students for ‘fidayeen’ (suicide bomber) attack and had plans to send them for its training in Pakistan occupied Kashmir shortly. They said the arrested men were allegedly camping in a Deoband hostel with the intention to radicalise youths and recruit new members for the terror group. They stayed there posing as students of Islamic studies, but were not enrolled in any of the Islamic institutions in Deoband, said the official.

Inspector general (IG) of police of ATS, Asim Arun confirmed that the names of at least 12 students including five from Uttar Pradesh and seven from Kashmir studying in different institutes in Deoband region have surfaced during rigorous interrogation with the two terror suspects. He said the duo was questioned about people in their network and the youths identified for terror recruitment.

He said the ATS team is keeping strict vigil over the students and they will be questioned if required.

Arun said the two suspects have been sent to Lucknow district jail after their ten days custody remand since January 23 ended on Tuesday. He said the ATS team could further seek their custody remand as they could not be taken to their home town in Kashmir due to tension at India-Pakistan border. Shahnawaz and Aquib hail from Pulwama and Kulgam districts of Kashmir.

Another senior official privy to the investigation said the recorded voice calls retrieved from Shahnawz’s mobile phone revealed that he had special directions from a senior commander of JeM to prepare the youths for ‘fidayeen’ attack and radicalise them to join the terror camp.

He said the ATS had found at least recorded voice calls from Shahnawaz’s mobile phone in which he is been informing his commander of soon bringing the radicalised youths to Kashmir for training of firearms and explosives. He said the same commander had visited the two suspects’ rented room in a Deoband hostel in Saharanpur district from where they were arrested on February 21 and 22.

The official said the input was shared with the intelligence bureau and Jammu and Kashmir police for their assistance.

First Published: Mar 06, 2019 09:39 IST