Delhi Police on Monday uncovered an assassination plot against Dasna Devi Temple head priest Yati Narsighanand Saraswati with the arrest of a 24-year-old Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist from Delhi’s Paharganj area. Besides one .30 bore pistol along with two magazine and 15 live rounds, the police recovered a Bhagwa kurta, a Kalava, a Mala and a Chandan-tika from the terrorist.
The accused, identified as Mohd. Dar alias Jehangir, who hailed from Pulwama, was allegedly paid Rs 41,000 to bump off the head priest of the Dasna Devi Temple. He was picked up from Hotel Shiva in Paharganj about 10 days ago, but the arrest was kept under wraps.
During the interrogation, Dar reportedly told the police that one Abid from Pakistan recruited him to work for the Jaish-e-Muhammad terror outfit. He said he worked as a carpenter near his hometown where he met Abid in December 2020. Abid told him he was from the JeM and the duo met again in April 2021.
“They continuously chatted with each other on Whatsapp. In February, Dar came to Delhi with his sister and her father-in-law for the treatment of his nephew, who had heart disease. Once he returned to Kashmir, Abid entrusted him with the task of assassinating Dasna Devi Temple head priest Yati Narsighanand Saraswati,” a police officer privy to the details of the interrogation said.
The police officer also said that Dar received training from Abid, who also gave him Rs 6,500 in cash. Abid also made an online transfer of Rs 35,000 to Dar and asked him to procure a weapon from his friend in Delhi.
“He was asked to dress up like a Hindu monk to gain an entry to the temple. Police are now on the lookout for Abid’s friend, who provided Dar with a weapon,” the officer said. An FIR under Section 120B of IPC(criminal conspiracy) was registered following some inputs and an investigation was initiated.
Notably, this is not the first time that Islamic terrorists have tried to operate under the guise of observant Hindus to gain access to their target without drawing suspicions and executing their nefarious plans. In October 2019, Hindu Samaj leader Kamlesh Tiwari was assassinated by two Islamic terrorists, Farid-ud-din Shaikh and Ashfaq Shaikh, in his office-cum-residence at Lucknow. The assailants came dressed in saffron kurtas to give him a sweets box with an address of a sweet shop in Surat city in Gujarat.
The assassination attempt against Dasna Devi Temple head priest Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati came a month after he made critical remarks against Islam and Prophet Muhammad. Speaking at an event held at a Press Club of India, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati urged Hindus to be fearless in highlighting the characteristics of Prophet Muhammad.
“If Islam’s reality, for which Maulana says, ‘If you speak about Muhammad, we will behead you’, Hindus should get rid of this fear. We are Hindus. If we can about the characteristics of Lord Ram, and other Hindu deities, then Muhammad is nothing for us. Why could not we speak about Muhammad and speak the truth?” Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati exclaimed.
Following his comments on Islam and Prophet Muhammad, AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan called for the beheading of Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati as ‘punishment’ for criticising Prophet Muhammad. Subsequently, Muslims in many pockets of the country ran a hostile campaign against the Dasna Devi Temple head priest, raising ‘sar tan se juda‘ slogans against him for his impudence to pass remarks on Prophet Muhammad and Islam.