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Uttar Pradesh: Former army personnel, Dr Ashfaq, amongst those arrested in the Kushinagar Masjid blast case

According to the police, mastermind Haji Qutubuddin had planted the explosives in the mosque.

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad has arrested six persons for the mosque blast that took place on November 11 in the Kushinagar town of Uttar Pradesh. Police arrested Haji Qutubuddin from Gorakhpur, Dr Ashfaq from Hyderabad, and four others in connection with the case. Dr Ashfaq is a former Army Major who was with the Medical Corps.

According to the police, mastermind Haji Qutubuddin had planted the explosives in the mosque. The explosives were reportedly brought with the help of three other aides from Mau to Kushinagar in April this year.

The ATS has also arrested the second accused in the case Ashfaq from Hyderabad. It is being reported that Ashfaq is the grandson of mastermind Haji Qutbuddin. The investigative agencies plan to cross-examine the two prime accused in the case. In this regard, the Varanasi IB team and ATS Lucknow will interrogate the grandfather-grandson duo.

The Uttar Pradesh Police’s Anti Terrorist Squad (UP ATS) is also fishing for a terror connection between the Kushinagar and Bijnor blast. To this end, samples of explosives collected from Kushinagar mosque have been sent to forensic Lab, Agra. The police have also ordered a forensic investigation of explosives found in Bijnor. According to sources, some youths from Meerut and Bijnor are being questioned in this regard.

The investigation into the motives of the explosion is being underway. Resentment following the Ayodhya verdict can also be a strong motivator to carry out the blast and the police are probing all the possible angles into the blast.

An explosion occurred in the Bairagi Patti village mosque in Kushinagar district on November 11. At first, the local police kept asserting that the explosion happened due to batteries, but later the explosive material was recovered from the mosque. Seven people, including the cleric of the mosque, have been booked in the case. Out of these, four people including accused Imam have been arrested and sent to jail. At the time of these arrests, three people, including the main accused Haji Qutubuddin, were on the run. The ATS and the bomb disposal squad conducted an inspection, following which they concluded that low-grade explosive materials were used for explosion. The police believe that it was kept in the mosque to make hand grenades.

The Bijnor blast took place on November 12 when a thief broke in a locked house with the intention of stealing but was injured by the accidental explosion. The seriously injured burglar was admitted to the hospital, from where he was taken to Meerut. However, later he succumbed to the injuries. Investigation revealed that potash sulfur explosive material was kept in the room in which the thief had entered. The explosion was so severe that along with the surrounding houses, the main house where the explosives were hidden, have developed cracks after the explosion.

On the other hand, SP Sanjeev Tyagi contended that the thief had brought home bombs with him and died due to an accidental bomb explosion. A forensic investigation into the case has been ordered. Despite the assertions made by SP Tyagi, the ATS is taking the blast seriously and trying to find any possible terror link between the two blasts.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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