At least 200 mosques and madrassas in and around Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh have come under the scanner of security agencies for allegedly spreading Islamic radicalism.
According to a report in Times of India, the development comes close on the heels of police detaining five youths for allegedly involving in a terror plot to target Delhi and cities in Uttar Pradesh. Among them, one was said to be the imam of a local mosque called Mohd Faizan. While rest of them were let off after interrogation, he was taken into custody.
The report said that the detained youths were students who studied in different madrassas. Taking strict note of the fact, the law enforcement agencies have now decided to keep a watch on the madrassas and mosques.
Citing Minority Affairs Department data, it claimed that there are around 500 madrassas out of which 15 are degree level and 55 high school level. There are close to 1,500 mosques in the area under police lens.
“Police and other security agencies will keep a strict vigil over religious institutions across Bijnor and neighbouring areas and also keep track of outsiders in their premises. We will also seek the help of responsible citizens and members of civil society to frequently visit these institutions and places and keep sensitising youngsters in order to prevent them from falling into the radicalisation trap,” Superintendent of police (SP), Bijnor, Ajay Sahani told TOI.
On Thursday, a major terror attack in the country was claimed to have been averted as 10 suspected ISIS activists were held in a major multi-state operation.
The joint operation was carried out by the police teams of Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, in which four suspected terrorists belonging to the ISIS Khorasan module were arrested and six others were detained.
The arrests were made during raids this morning in Mumbra (Maharashtra), Jalandhar (Punjab), Narkatiaganj (Bihar), and Bijnor and Muzaffarnagar (both in Uttar Pradesh).
According to Inspector General of the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS)Aseem Arun, four persons were arrested on charges of hatching terror conspiracies. He said that the accused were planning a major terror attack in the country. Important documents relating to the ISIS were seized from them.
Arun had informed that two persons Mufti Faizan and Tanveer, allegedly connected with the ISIS, were arrested from Bijnor district. Nazim Shamshad Ahmed (26), who hails from Bijnor, was nabbed from Mumbra township in Thane district adjoining Mumbai. Another suspect identified as Muzammil was arrested from Jalandhar district of Punjab.
According to an UP ATS statement in Lucknow, six others were taken into custody and were being questioned in Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi. The accused had got in touch with each other over the internet.
According to the IG, the UP ATS had also seized some important documents after the March 7 encounter in Lucknow in which a suspected terrorist belonging to the Khorasan module was killed. Following this, the probe was expanded to five states.
The ATS had received information that the ISIS had been expanding its network in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Bihar and some youths from these states had joined the terror organisation.