Uttar Pradesh police said they have arrested four people suspected to have links with the Popular Front of India, an alleged radical group, and its affiliate in Mathura when they were on their way to Hathras district.
The PFI has been accused of funding protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act across the country earlier this year and the UP police had sought a ban on the outfit.
Hathras has been in the news following the death of a 19-year-old Dalit woman who was allegedly gangraped on September 14 in a village in the district. And her cremation at night, allegedly without the parents' consent, has triggered an outrage.
Police said the four men with PFI links were taken into custody at Math toll plaza in Mathura Monday after a tip that suspicious people were heading to Hathras from Delhi.
The four were in a car and identified themselves as Atiq-ur Rehman from Muzaffarnagar, Siddique from Malappuram, Masood Ahmed from Bahraich and Alam from Rampur, they said. Their mobile phones, laptop computer and some literature, which could have an impact on peace and order, were seized, officials said.
During interrogation, it came to light that they had links with PFI and its associate organisation Campus Front of India, police said. Also on Monday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referred to “recent incidents” and said “anarchist elements” are trying to trigger communal and caste violence in the state.