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UP ATS summons 11 persons from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: Read how radicalisation has been a problem in ‘Deluxe Hub’ of terrorists in Maharashtra

The individuals summoned by UP ATS include youngsters as well as middle-aged men. All of them are actively involved in religious preaching.

On Saturday (30th December), a team of Uttar Pradesh ATS (Anti-terrorism Squad) reached Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar in Maharashtra to raid multiple places and issue summons to 11 individuals in the city. Primary reports confirmed that this raid was assisted by Maharashtra police ATS and it was in connection with an arrest that took place in July 2023 wherein Saddam Sheikh was arrested by UP ATS for sharing hateful posts on social media.

When Saddam’s post was investigated, at least 11 such suspects were identified in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, who were ideologically associated with ISIS. Soon after, the UP ATS became active in this case.

When the UP ATS investigated deeper, they found that these youths from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar in Maharashtra were involved in some allegedly anti-national conspiracy. The UP ATS, which reached Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar in Maharashtra, raided the places of suspects associated with ISIS, seized phones and laptops, seized some booklets and other literature and returned after handing them a notice to the UP ATS office in Lucknow. OpIndia contacted local sources and gathered some information concerning this case, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Islamic fundamentalism rooted in the area surrounding the city.

The summoned people primarily live near the Kiradpura area of the old city area of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar

According to our sources, the individuals summoned by UP ATS include youngsters as well as middle-aged men. All of them are actively involved in religious preaching. UP ATS took action against them because they received credible inputs that these people were also holding secret meetings to conspire about anti-national activities which they wanted to execute in Uttar Pradesh.

According to our sources, these individuals primarily reside in the Kiradpura area of the Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar city. Kiradpura is close to the old city area where Muslims form the majority population. The sources also revealed that there is a fairly high chance that being an agent propagating the Puritan Islamist ideology, many of the summoned individuals are members of some ‘Jamaat’ as they called it in local jargon. The locals also mentioned that they would not be surprised if further investigations of UP ATS find these individuals to be associated with activities like Tabligh, Ijtemas, etc.

Notably, the Kiradpura area of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar city made it to the news on the occasion of Ram Navami in the year 2023 when a Ram Mandir in this area was targeted by Islamists who pelted stones. A detailed report of this incident can be read here.

Are these radicals funded by local Muslim businessmen?

We also learned from our sources that there are multiple small and medium industrial units owned by Muslims in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. As a part of religious charity or donations, these business houses usually fund many activities from the backdoors. It is speculated that it is these businesses that also fund such anti-social activities and propagation of fundamentalism which encourages love jihad, forced conversion, etc. by providing monetary support to provoke the youths first and bear legal expenses in case of any action.

Notably, Deluxe Bakery (owned by Tasleem Khan, established in 2002) and Waterways Industries (established in 2012) are two big businesses in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar. While Deluxe Bakery products are primarily sold pan Marathwada which was earlier a territory of Nizam of Hyderabad, ‘Hayat’ is a known brand of mineral water in this area. However, the Facebook page of this ‘Hayat’ water is full of Islamic religious content and video footage of events sympathising the disputed structure called Babri Masjid which once stood at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya and was demolished on 6th December 1992.

Besides, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar has had its underworld. Serial killer gangster Imran Mehdi remained a synonym of terror in the city for the first decade of this century. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in the murder case of Salim Quraishi. However, even after that he allegedly ran his gang from the Harsul Jail in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar.

Repeated involvement of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar in Islamic fundamentalism

OpIndia also contacted journalist Sushil Kulkarni. He lives in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and runs the YouTube channel Analyser News. He said, “UP ATS summoning local individuals of the city is indeed a piece of big news. However, it is not a new phenomenon in the city. If we recall the recent few decades, terror sympathising has been the tendency of the radicals in the city. In 2005-2006 we saw an arms haul case near Ellora in the district. Jabiuddin Ansari involved in that case was later known to the world as Abu Jundal who went to Karachi and was instructing terrorists involved in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks from the control room in Karachi.”

Sushil Kulkarni added, “Faiyaz Kaghzi is another terrorist associated with this city. This ‘once B.Ed. student’ went on to join Lashkar-e-Taiba. It was this Faiyaz Kaghzi who helped Abu Jundal escape the country. Later, Kaghzi joined ISIS and became the first Indian to blow himself up in a terrorist attack by ISIS. Both these terrorists hailed from the adjoining Beed district and lived in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar for a significant time radicalising other youths. Even the rioting modules and stone-pelting patterns in the city seen in 2018 were a corrupt third grade edition of that we would once see in Kashmir where adolescent minor boys would be kept at front as a shield.”

He said, “Another terrorist Sheikh Abrar was shot dead in a broad-day encounter by Maharashtra ATS in the old city in March 2012. He was accused of the Ahmedabad bomb blast case of 2008. Not only this, the city has become a ‘Deluxe Hub’ for such terrorists and their sympathisers. There have been many cases of forced circumcision, conversion, love jihad, and communal clashes in and around the city in the recent few years. A man from Sudan came here on a student visa. Did not attend even a single lecture. And was arrested because he was executing forced conversions to Islam. Changing the name of the city from Aurangabad to Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar has caused a yet bigger stir in these circles as the terrorists quite naturally idolise that Islamic tyrant and associate themselves with him.”

Sushil Kulkarni further said, “What is more worrisome in the recent case is that the UP Police ATS detects the anti-national activities in the state while Maharashtra police could have easily noticed and tracked these activities on their own. Residents of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar need to be more vigilant as we have seen an ex-senior police officer Riyazuddin Ghiyasuddin Deshmukh sympathise with Aurangzeb. Babri mosque sympathisers appearing in the city and allegedly conspiring to execute some unsolicited troublesome tasks in UP weeks before the consecration of the Ram Temple should not be taken lightly. We expect to know more details of the conspiracy after the interrogations.”

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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