With the arrest of four persons with suspected ISIS links from Manglour in Uttarakhand, Delhi Police has claimed to have unearthed a terror plot to target the ongoing Ardh Kumbh Mela at Haridwar, particularly trains heading there and some strategic locations in the national capital.
The suspects, identified as Akhlaq ur-Rehman, Mohammed Osama, Mohammed Azim Shah and Mehroz were arrested from Manglour town in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district yesterday and produced in a court here today which sent them to 15 days’ police custody, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Arvind Deep said.
“The four suspects were tracked down with inputs from a central intelligence agency. They had planned to carry out terror attacks at the Ardh Kumbh mela, trains heading towards Haridwar passing through Roorkie and some strategic locations in Delhi,” Deep said.
According to sources, the suspects were allegedly in contact of a former Indian Mujahideen operative, who later went for training in Syria and is presently believed to be a key member of Ansar-ut Tawhid fi Bilad al-Hind (AuT) which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
One of the suspects, Akhlaq, is also being questioned in connection with the attacks at Pathankot. Meanwhile, their involvement in all possible networks, including the AuT-ISIS, is being verified, the source said.
The suspects have been booked under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Special Commissioner Arvind Deep refused to comment on the outfit which the suspects belong to but said, “The national capital faces threat until the entire module is busted.”
Delhi was put on high alert and security was stepped up earlier this month after the Special Cell received input about the presence of some Jaish-e-Mohammed key members in the city two days after the attack at Pathankot.
On Monday, two persons with suspected al Qaeda links were detained from Mewat in Haryana. However, Delhi Police Special Cell has so far claimed to have arrested only one.
Senior officials have also reviewed the security today in view of upcoming Republic Day celebrations, an official added.