LUCKNOW: In another joint operation, teams of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (UP ATS) conducted searches at five places across Amroha in wee hours of Tuesday and continued the operation till noon.
During the action, the joints teams raided the house of terror suspects Raees Ahmad and Saeed Ahmad and also quizzed their relatives at their house in Saidpur Imma village in Amroha district. Notably, Raees and Saeed were held by NIA and UP ATS teams along with 8 other suspects for their alleged association with ISIS-inspired Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam organization from western UP districts and Delhi on December 26.
According to UP ATS officials, accompanied by Saeed, the joint investigation teams also conducted searches at the welding shops of Saeed and Raees for gathering evidence over the manufacturing of country-made rocket launchers which were recovered during December 26 operation. In fact, after taking the remand of 10 terror suspects held during previous operation and their subsequent interrogation, the NIA and UP ATS teams had been extremely active in Amroha.
As per the highly-placed sources, the teams were in search of four more terror suspects including two Kashmiri Maulanas who used to visit Ahmad brothers frequently. As the sources claimed, the two Kashmiri Maulanas who were in constant touch with Ahmad brothers, used to visit Saeed and Raees frequently at their shop on pretext of collection of funds.
They used to spend days at their house as well, said the ATS sources. During Tuesday raids, a convoy of around 15 vehicles carrying the investigating teams and Saeed Ahmad reached Saidpur Imma village at around 8 am. First, NIA and UP ATS officials raided two houses of Saeed and Raees and took the relatives of both terror suspects in custody for their interrogation.
According to senior police officials, the investigating teams interrogated the kin of Ahmads for hours till Tuesday noon in presence of the village head Ali Hassan of Saidpur Imma village. Moreover, the search team recovered some items from Saeed’s house besides doing recce of certain places in the district.
Then the probe teams proceeded towards the welding shops of Ahmads at Islamnagar area. These shops were sealed by the NIA during their operation on last Wednesday. While Saeed has a welding shop in Islamnagar locality, Raees has one in the village itself. It may be recalled that NIA and UP ATS had rounded up 10 terror suspects during simultaneous raids at around 17 locations across western UP districts – Bulandshahr, Amroha, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Bijnor, Meerut and Hapur besides Lucknow and also Seelampur and Jafrabad of Delhi on December 26. The module was supposed to have merged just 3-4 months back and the suspects were radicalized by the jehadi literature of ISIS.
The probe teams had claimed to have arrested Maulvi Mufti Sohail who was based in Delhi but a native of Amroha. Now in NIA custody, Mufti Sohail is alleged mastermind of the terror module busted on last Wednesday. Mufti Sohail was supposedly in constant contact of some foreign-based handler. The module Harkt-ul-Harb-e-Islam was planning series of bomb blasts at several places to spread terror.