Stone pelting to radicalisation: The external influence that is threatening Uttar Pradesh
New Delhi, Jan 1: Uttar Pradesh has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Incidents of stone pelting, which were exclusive only to Kashmir have now been reported in UP as well.
The recent busting of a module in Uttar Pradesh only goes on to show that there is extreme external influence in the state. It has become clear now that there was a Pakistan hand behind the module which was busted by the National Investigation Agency last week.
During the interrogation, the suspects told the NIA officials that the reason for them setting up the module was multi-fold. First and foremost it was their handler from Pakistan who instructed them to set up the module in Uttar Pradesh.
Pakistan wanted a major module in Delhi and UP, so that it could strike ahead of the elections and cause communal trouble. The suspects also said that the other reasons for them to set up such a module was communalism, which they felt was on the rise in UP. They also cited making Yoga compulsory as another reason.
The external influence:
Officials tell OneIndia that they are witnessing a lot of external influence in UP off late. There have been several instances where students from the state have gone missing only to be found with some terror group in Kashmir.
In July last year, there was a one of a kind case that had been reported. Sandeep Sharma a resident of Muzzafarnagar, UP moved out of the state and joined a terror group in Kashmir. The Jammu and Kashmir police said that he was part of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and was involved in various incidents such as attacks on Army convoys, weapon snatching and ATM looting.
In September 2018, the Uttar Pradesh police arrested Assam resident Qamer Uzzaman, 37 from Kanpur. The police said that he was planning a major attack on a temple and they had managed to foil the attempt just in the nick of time. He was part of the Hizbul Mujahideen, the police said.
In November 2018, another incident of a student joining the terror ranks had been reported. Ahtesham Bilal Sofi, 17, a resident of downtown Srinagar, was a first year graduation student at Greater Noida's Sharda University went missing. It was later found that he had joined a terror outfit in Kashmir.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that ahead of the elections, they expect the influence of external elements to get higher. Pakistan elements will surely push harder to further communal tension in the state, the IB officer also said.
The Madrasa headache:
Around ten years back, the intelligence agencies had a headache in the form of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. It was a hub of terror and 80 per cent of the Indian Mujahideen terrorists emerged from this place in UP.
The latest headache emerges from Amroha in UP. Four out of the 10 operatives arrested following the busting of an ISIS inspired module were from Amroha. Going by what the NIA has probed so far, it becomes clear that these men from Amroha had played a significant role in shaping the module.
Amroha is a city in north-western Uttar Pradesh. Known for the production of mangoes, this place is around 185 kilometres away from New Delhi. While 25.48 per cent of the population comprise of Hindus, Muslims make up for 73.80 of the population.
Amroha has of late been in the news for the wrong reasons. It may be recalled that earlier this year in September 2018, the Delhi Police had arrested two Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir operatives. During their interrogation, it was learnt that they had sourced their weapons from Amroha. Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that Amroha is shaping up to be the next Azamgarh.
Even in the raids that were conducted in Delhi and UP, it was found that there were two Muftis allegedly involved in the module. In Amroha it has been found that the Mosque and Madrasa networks were being used to radicalise people. This is a dangerous trend and if religious heads are getting into this actively, the problem is immense and they have plenty of followers, an IB official explained.
When the agencies were chasing the Indian Mujahideen, it was found that a bulk of the members were from Azamgarh. In fact if one traces the IM to its early days, it can be said that the outfit took shape in Azamgarh.
Azamgarh had become a hot spot for terror. Officials say the atmosphere in Azamgarh was conducive for operatives and hence they were able to carry out their activities and return there safely and hide. In Amroha, the agencies find a similar trend. In the latest rounds of busts, it has been found that the Moulvis have been driving the modules. In one recent case relating to a Lashkar-e-Tayiba module in Haryana, it was found that funds were being channelised through hawala transactions, which a Moulvi oversaw.