CHANDIGARH: In order to bust an ISIS-inspired module, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out raids in Punjab and Western Uttar Pradesh on Thursday and also detained a ‘maulvi’ of a mosque from near Ludhiana.
Sources said that the NIA teams carried out searches at two places in Punjab and at six places in Western Uttar Pradesh --- Ludhiana and Amritsar in Punjab and Athsaini and Badarkha villages of Garhmukteshwar in Hapur, Kaloli village in Bulandshahr, Battkheri village of Amroha and Jasora and Ajnera villages of Meerut --- in connection with the investigation regarding a case of a terror module inspired by the Islamic State group.
The agency raided at least six locations in four districts of western Uttar Pradesh and detained four men for interrogation. The raids were also conducted in the house of Zubair in Batt Kheri village of Amroha but he gave the agency a slip before the officials could start the search.
The NIA team arrested a ‘maulvi’ at a mosque from Meharbaan village on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road. He has been identified as Mohammad Ovesh Pasha. The raid on the mosque was carried out in the
wee hours of Thursday by a team of NIA along with Punjab Police. The man is suspected to be part of the ISIS module, busted in Uttar Pradesh. He had come to Ludhiana seven months ago and had earlier studied at a madrasa in UP, where he got in touch with ISIS operatives. Some literature was seized from him but no weapon was recovered from Pasha. He was taken by the NIA team to Delhi.
Raids were also conducted in Amritsar.
The alleged accused has been booked in Uttar Pradesh under Sections 17/18/20/39 of UAP Act, Sections 120-A, 121-B and 122 of the IPC and Sections 4/5 of the Explosives Act.
As per mosque president Jamil Ahmed, Pasha has been teaching in the madrasa in which seventy-five children study. "If Pasha has any connection with ISIS, then strict action should be taken against
him,’’ said Ahmed.
The group was allegedly planning attacks and serial blasts, targeting politicians and government buildings in Delhi and other parts of the country. The NIA has arrested twelve people in this connection since December 26 last year. The searches were being conducted based on inputs from interrogation of the people arrested for allegedly being part of ''Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam'' (which loosely translates into war for the cause of Islam) module of global terror group ISIS.