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  4. 'An IIT-B grad, but aspired for ISIS'- What ATS revealed about Gorakhnath temple attack accused

'An IIT-B grad, but aspired for ISIS'- What ATS revealed about Gorakhnath temple attack accused

The ATS is stuck in mystery with accused Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi - is he a clever radical on a bigger mission or is he mentally ill like his family claims?

Sri Lasya Written by: Sri Lasya @laasiyapriya New Delhi Updated on: April 11, 2022 13:19 IST
Gorakhnath temple attack, Gorakhnath temple attack latest news, Gorakhnath temple attack news, templ
Image Source : PTI

Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi, accused of attacking policemen outside the Gorakhnath temple, being presented in a court by police, in Gorakhpur, Monday, April 4, 2022.


Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi, the accused in the Gorakhpur temple attack was an IIT- Bombay graduate. Uttar Pradesh's Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), during interrogation, revealed that he aspired to become a part of ISIS, despite his education. 

The ATS is stuck in mystery with Murtaza - is he a clever radical on a bigger mission or is he mentally ill like his family claims? 

A recap of the incident: Abbasi had attacked two police constables with a sharp-edged weapon and tried to barge into the premises before he was overpowered. The temple is under high security as it is frequently visited by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is the head seer.

Murtaza hasn't lied about any of the questions that the ATS posed to him. When he was asked why he did not get married yet, he said, "What is the need for a wife? Once I reach Allah's house, (referring to paradise), there won't be a need for it." He said that he desired to attain “shahadat (martyrdom)”, and that is why he had attacked the policemen outside Gorakhnath temple with sharp weapons. 

ATS officers said that the chemical engineer from IIT Bombay had left his job in a multinational company. Evidence that was collected at his apartment showed that he often consumed radicalized content, and had high aspirations of joining ISIS. His family claims that he is mentally ill. 

Murtaza's bank statements revealed that he had also funded many organizations abroad. Some lakhs of rupees were sent through his credit card. In the past few months, he had sent huge amounts of money to somebody named Shamiullah multiple times. 

"He went to Saudi Arabia in 2016 and moved ahead on the path of radicalization ever since then. He made several attempts to go to Syria through local channels [in 2017-18] to join the IS, but failed," said ATS officers. 

According to police, the UP ATS team visited the building (Millenium Tower) in the Sanpada node near Vashi. The team found that the flat (mentioned in Abbasi's Aadhaar card) was sold in 2013. Abbasi's father Munir Abbasi has purchased another flat at Taj Heights Apartment in sector 50 in Seawoods Drive, also in Navi Mumbai.

The ATS team with the help of officials of the NRI police station visited that flat. It came to light that the Abbasi family had shifted to Gorakhpur in October 2020 and the flat was rented to one Muslim Khan during the lockdown.

Munir Abbasi had visited his flat in Seawoods recently and it was vacated by the tenant. The Abbasi senior then returned to Gorakhpur.

The investigation, as confusing as it gets, suggests that Murtaza is an introvert. Police officers are convinced that the Gorakhpur incident could be a part of a larger pattern. 

Read More | Gorakhpur temple attack: Accused Murtaza Abbasi says he was angry over 'atrocities' against Muslims, CAA, NRC

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