THE Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has invoked the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the 10 alleged Naxals who were arrested over the weekend from Noida and Chandauli districts. The Act was invoked on the basis of statements of the accused which, the ATS claimed, established that there was a conspiracy for a terror act.
“The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has been invoked after conspiracy for a terror act was established through statements of the arrested persons,” said Inspector General, UP ATS, Aseem Arun.
Nine out of the 10 alleged Naxals arrested by Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) have been charged under sections of the Indian Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act in a case registered at Noida’s Sector 49 police station Saturday.
Two separate FIRs have been registered against the alleged Naxals at Noida’s Sector 47 police station, while another case has been registered in Syed Raza police station in Chandauli district under various charges, including the Arms Act and the Explosives Act. All arrested accused have been sent to judicial custody.
The cases will be transferred to the ATS’ Lucknow headquarters for investigation later, confirmed a senior official.
According to the FIR registered in the case at Noida’s Sector 49 police station, the police received information about “Naxals from various states making Noida a base for carrying out a serious incident”.
The document further states that while this information was being probed by various sections of the ATS, at 5.30 pm Saturday, an informer told them about a gathering of “some Naxals, with large quantities of weapons and explosives, at a flat in Noida Sector 49’s Hindon Vihar, who are planning to carry out a big criminal incident.” The informer said that the gathering was scheduled to take place Saturday night, according to the FIR.
The FIR further said that two teams of commandos and ATS officers were formed to conduct a raid in flat no. 102. As some officers in the team entered the flat, “whose main door was open”, they found five persons sitting on a bed in a room. The FIR said that while the officers introduced themselves and told them that they had received information that those people had assembled with regard to some criminal conspiracy, “no one said anything and they started apologising.”
Around 8.50 pm Saturday, the five accused — Ranjit Paswan. Krishan Kumar Rai, Pawan Kumar Jha, Sachin Kumar and Ashish Saraswat — were taken into custody, stated the FIR. The document further recounted the statements of the accused.
Paswan, the FIR claimed, said that he was a resident of Chandauli and he was in prison in Bihar along with Naxals at Chainpur police station in Bhabhua district.”
Paswan allegedly also said that he had been granted bail but since he did appear before the authorities on the given date, a warrant was issued against him. According to the FIR, Paswan claimed to have been introduced to Pawan Kumar Jha by a Sasaram resident Dharamvir.
Elaborating on the statement of Paswan, the FIR stated, “Pawan is engaged in property business in Noida where he had an agreement with a farmer on 9 bighas of land and plotting had been done but due to sustaining some loss the farmer occupied this land later. Pawan asked from my help regarding this matter and in order to help him I approached Brij Kishor, Sunil Yadav, Shailendra, Krishna, Sachin, Ashish and Suraj. Many big (wealthy) people have farmhouses in Greater Noida and they roam around in big cars on Sundays. Our plan was to kidnap one of them and ask for ransom. This would have helped Pawan and the issue with the plot of land. Hence, we are staying in his flat.”
Paswan further informed them that four of their associates were – Sunil Kumar Yadav, Shailendra Kumar , Brij Kishor and Suraj – who were staying in Sadarpur, Sector 45, Noida, the FIR stated.
Around 11.40 pm, the police reached Sadarpur and arrested the four. During questioning, Brij Kishor told police that “Pawan and Ranjit are acquaintances and Pawan is in a tussle with farmers on the issue of his plotting system. Because of this, we have gathered here. I had arranged some pistols and cartridges from Saurabh in Aligarh. In order to collect money, we were planning to kidnap someone or loot an ATM machine…” the FIR further stated.
Among the arrested persons, three are alleged members of the splinter Maoist organisation Triteeya Sammelan Prastuti Committee (TSPC) and ATS claimed that Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was not earlier mentioned in the FIR because TSPC is not a banned organisation.
Meanwhile, the ATS are looking for two associates of the arrested accused, who managed to escape after police conducted raids in Noida. The police claim that the absconding suspects had arms and explosives, including gelatin rods, in their possession.
“During questioning, the arrested accused said two of their associates escaped from the place, and they have explosives and weapons with them,” said a senior officer.
ATS has applied for five-day police custody remand of the four accused — Ranjeet Paswan, Krishna Kumar, Pawan Kumar Jha and Ashish Saraswat. The court is likely to take up the application of the remand Tuesday.