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Uttar Pradesh: Ranjit Singh became Saddam Sheikh after meeting a Muslim family, idolised Osama bin Laden, wanted to run over people with trucks

Saddam Sheikh identified himself as Hizbul Mujahideen Saddam on a calling app, wanted to replace the Indian tricolour's Ashok Chakra with the Islamic symbol.

Two men named Saddam Sheikh (38) and Rizwan Khan (23) were arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Uttar Pradesh Police on 2 July for publishing radical posts that incited hatred on social media. Now, shocking information concerning Saddam Sheikh has come to light during the police interrogation.

Saddam Sheikh is originally a resident of Tarabganj in the Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh. His real name is Ranjit Singh and he fled to Mumbai after being beaten by his father 20 years ago for stealing. In Mumbai, he embraced Islam and took the name Saddam Sheikh. He came in contact with a Muslim family in Mumbai and they indoctrinated him to join their religion. Afterwards, they converted him to Islam through a cleric.

He then began working as a truck driver for a business in Bengaluru. In the meantime, he came into contact with the radicals and developed extremist tendencies of his own. He even joined Al Qaeda in the year 2020. He also suspected his wife, Rubina, of engaging in an extramarital affair and wanted to kill her and their children in the same year.

On the other hand, his spouse claimed on 3 July that he did not live in Gonda. He was brought by a man named Rakesh, a native of Lalapurwa, Gujarat, in the year 2005. She was granted a parcel of land in the village and an individual called Khan, who worked on the silk farm owned by the former head of the hamlet had the couple married in 2010.

Rubina alleged, “We attempted to find out where was he from multiple times. He insisted that he had no one. His parents had died. They left him in his childhood. He used to be very calm and quiet in the village.”

Saddam Sheikh desired to commit acts of terrorism

Saddam Sheikh identified himself as Hizbul Mujahideen Saddam on a calling app. In addition, he had direct communication with numerous terrorists based in Kashmir and Pakistan. He intended to carry out terrorist attacks like those that occurred in France and Germany in 2016 and wanted to run over people with trucks. He used to watch videos for this purpose.

His social media provided insight into the degree to which he had been radicalised. “Muslims need to wake up about the change in the constitution,” he stated in his post. “Jihad runs in our blood. We won’t be averse to making a sacrifice. The government commits atrocities on Muslims. I’m outraged by the decision over Babri Masjid. There is a hunger for vengeance. My heroes are Osama bin Laden and Burhan Wani,” he declared.

He intended to replace the Indian tricolour’s Ashok Chakra with the Islamic symbol. He used to consistently publish offensive messages. His account had been terminated by Facebook three times as a consequence of his actions. He aspired to become like terrorists Burhan Wani, Zakir Musa and Osama bin Laden. Moreover, he aimed to receive weapons training from terrorist groups.

Rizwan Khan wanted to become a terrorist

Rizwan Khan is from Jammu’s Poonch district. He himself took the radical path and had perilous designs. He was active on social media and posted inflammatory messages there. Furthermore, he shared numerous posts related to AK-47, Jihad and the implementation of Sharia.

The UP ATS has learned that he swore an oath to join Zakir Musa’s terrorist outfit. He announced that he was waiting for his turn to get involved in the path of Jihad, on social media.

Saddam Sheikh and Rizwan Khan promoted terror ideology

Anti Terrorism Squad statement read, “One Saddam Sheikh (38), a resident of Gonda district who was currently employed with a Bangalore-based firm, arrested for posting radical posts inciting hate on social media platforms. He wanted to become an enabler of the terror activities and thus used to post radical social media posts regularly.”

He was “highly motivated” by terrorists and cross-border terror groups. He was in touch with a Kashmir-based terrorist over a social media platform. “Rizwan Khan is motivated by terror groups and used to promote their ideology via radical posts on social media groups,” the ATS added.

Both of them are the subjects of separate cases that have been filed at the ATS police station in Lucknow.

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