NEW DELHI: Sambhal district in western Uttar Pradesh has come under the scanner of anti-terror agencies, with the police finding it to be the home of several alleged members of dreaded outfit Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) who have been providing active support for the group.
This was disclosed in a charge sheet filed by the Special Cell of Delhi Police before a city court. The charge sheet was filed against 17 suspected AQIS members, of whom 12 are absconding, for allegedly trying to set up a base for Al Qaeda in India under the banner of AQIS.
The police has claimed that Sambhal resident Maulana Asim Umar, who is currently in Pakistan, is the AQIS chief and six out of the 17 chargesheeted accused belonged to this district. According to the final report, while Sambhal residents Mohd Asif and Zafar Masood have been arrested in the case, the other four -- Maulana Asim Umar, Syed Akhtar, Mohd Sharjeel Akhtar and Usman, who also belong to the district, are still at large, around 200 kilometres from Delhi.
It claimed that these Sambhal-based accused were motivating Indian youths to join 'jihad' and have facilitated their departure to Pakistan for arms training for terror acts. The police has alleged that a number of youths from Sambhal had joined Al Qaeda cadre in Pakistan and returned here after arms training.
It claimed that AQIS has received aid from several terror outfits in Pakistan and had several sympathisers and financers in Sambhal. "During interrogation, accused Mohd Asif revealed that he joined terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda following some local youths of Sambhal, who had left India long ago... He also revealed that he had radicalised a number of youth of western UP into joining Al Qaeda as he himself believed and advocated the ideology of Al Qaeda," the charge sheet alleged.
"Asif, a member of AQIS, stated that from his ideology, several youth had performed 'hijrat', i.e. migrated to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan etc for receiving 'askari', i.e. terrorist training from several terror organisations. He had joined Al Qaeda, being motivated by these terror icons of Sambhal," the police claimed in the charge sheet. It said that absconding accused Syed Akhtar alias Qasim, also a resident of Sambhal, was currently residing in Pakistan and used to motivate youths for 'jihad' and radicalised them against the "role of Americans against Muslim community throughout the world."