July 14, 2021 4:25:43 am
The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of UP Police on Tuesday took custody of two suspected operatives of al Qaeda-linked Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind (AGH), a day after a court remanded the accused to police custody for 14 days.
The agency is likely to take Minhaz Ahmed, 30, and Maseeruddin alias Mushir, 50, to Kanpur, and Jammu and Kashmir as part of its investigation. The ATS wants to take Minhaz to Kanpur after he claimed to have purchased the pistol found in his house from a person in the Chamanganj area. Sources said the police had detained around a dozen people suspected of being associated with the accused. Two of them are from Kanpur district.
The agency also wants to collect information on two J&K residents with whom Minhaz was in touch. One of them, identified as Tauheed, had received money from the 30-year-old, said officials. The other J&K resident under the police scanner is Moosa. The ATS has yet to find the place from where Minhaz wired the money to the account Tauheed had provided. The agency also has not yet been successful in recovering Minhaz’s diary that reportedly contains details of the two Kashmiris.
According to officials, the ATS also wants to take Minhaz and Maseeruddin to the shops in Lucknow from where they allegedly purchased the parts of a pressure-cooker IED said to have been recovered during their arrest. After interrogating them, the police want to prepare a map of their planned targets.
Following the recovery of large-scale explosives and the IED during the raids on Sunday, Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar had said the explosives and other items would be sent to a forensic science laboratory for examination.
Meanwhile, Minhaz and Maseeruddin’s families accused the police of framing the two suspected militants. The families told reporters that the two men were innocent, and claimed that the police were lying about recovering explosives from their homes. They said the police had conducted raids in their homes but claimed nothing objectionable was found.
Minhaz is married and has a son about two years old. He used to run a battery shop. Maseeruddin used to operate an e-rickshaw, and has three daughters and a son.
On Sunday, after the arrest, the police claimed that the two were planning to carry out explosions in different parts of the state, including Lucknow. The suspects were also planning to carry out suicide bombing, police added.
The ATS said it was conducting raids, mostly in Lucknow and Kanpur, to trace the associates of the arrested suspects.
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