JeM threat: Security beefed up ahead of Rahul's visit

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Amethi, Lucknow, Nov 30: Security has been beefed up ahead of AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi's two-day visit to his Parliamentary constituency of Amethi following claims that Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) had plans to hold him hostage. The Amethi MP will lay the foundation stones of a small arms factory at Korwa and two Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) manufacturing units at Jagdishpur on Sunday. Tomorrow, he will interact with locals and party workers during the mass contact programme.

Security agencies, including the Special Protection Group (SPG) which protects the Gandhis, has carried out a survey of the areas to be visited by the VVIP.

The three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants arrested earlier this month from the Uttar Pradesh capital had a specific task at hand -- to befriend influential West UP Congress politicians as a means to reach near AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

The three terrorists -- whom the state director general of police Vikram Singh had termed as ''fidayeen'' -- were assigned to befriend influential Congress politicians who had the capacity to organise rallies and public meetings of the young Amethi MP during the next Lok Sabha elections.

Sources in the Special Task Force (STF) claimed that the three were junior rankers in the JeM and had no immediate plans to kidnap or make hostage any VVIP politician -- said to be Rahul Gandhi -- in the near future.

Their visit was only part of a bigger plan to be implemented later, sources added.

They claimed that the politicians would not have known about their designs till the last moment. They were to be a ''mere tool'' of their plan to get near the VVIP politician. The FIR lodged at the Gudamba police station claims that the terrorists wanted to kidnap a Congress politician. But it names no one.

The DGP said said the suspects wanted to kidnap a very, very important political leader... to create national and international pressure to secure the release of 42 terrorists.

Police identified the three suspects as Pakistani nationals and named them as Muhammed Abid, Mirza Rashid Beg and Yusuf.


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