The 24-year-old accused, Muhammad Absar, a resident of Jasora, Meerut, is a Quran teacher at Jamia Husania Abul Hassan in Hapur. He had visited Tral twice along with Saqib Iftekar, arrested on December 26, 2018, to meet a local contact, a Moulvi. The two sought the help of the Moulvi, who was known to Iftekar as they had met earlier during a religious course, to connect to a Kashmiri ‘mujahideen’ who could help them procure weapons and also impart arms training.
The Moulvi connected them with one person, who the two accused met and talked to for arranging weapons and training. While the NIA has examined the Moulvi based in Tral, it is still verifying antecedents of the other person.
Following Absar’s arrest, NIA on Saturday morning carried out searches at three locations in Meerut and Hapur with the support of UP Police. The recoveries, as per NIA sources, included some electronic devices including memory cards.
An NIA official said Absar was arrested as he was a member of the IS-inspired ‘Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam’ module busted in Delhi and Amroha and “part of the conspiracy to attack vital installations, security establishments, prominent persons including politicians and crowded places, possibly with remote-controlled bomb blasts”. Twelve accused have been arrested in the case so far.
The Kashmir link to the IS module cropped up during the questioning of mastermind Mufti Mohd Suhail’s close aide – Saqib Iftekar (26), who worked as an imam at Jama Masjid in Baksar, Uttar Pradesh, and helped module procure weapons for their plan to carry out fidayeen attacks in north India.
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