Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeNews ReportsDrones, explosives, and hate literature: How a village just 50 km away from Mumbai turned...

Drones, explosives, and hate literature: How a village just 50 km away from Mumbai turned into India’s ISIS nerve centre

Padgha experienced a dramatic and menacing transformation, earning the reputation of becoming India's ISIS hub. This shift was masterminded by the notorious terrorist Saqib Nachan. Under his direction, Padgha was renamed Al Sham and began functioning almost like an independent enclave, governed by the repressive Sharia rule.

Mumbai, India’s financial centre and the capital of Maharashtra, is a bustling city known for its cosmopolitan nature and bustling activities. But a new report by journalist Pankaj Prasoon paints a sinister development underway in its neighbourhood, Padgha, a backwater town 50 kilometres northeast of Mumbai. 

Padgha experienced a dramatic and menacing transformation, earning the reputation of becoming India’s ISIS hub. This shift was masterminded by the notorious terrorist Saqib Nachan. Under his direction, Padgha was renamed Al Sham and began functioning almost like an independent enclave, governed by the repressive Sharia rule.

Saqib Nachan, a notorious terrorist, turned Padgha into a hub for extremism. Once a serene village, Padgha experienced a dramatic shift with the influx of unfamiliar and suspicious individuals, accompanied by a rise in Islamic radicalisation. This transformation accelerated Padgha’s descent into a centre for terror planning and radicalism, significantly altering its character and raising substantial security concerns.

In 2023, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) executed a major raid in Padgha, uncovering 44 drones primed for an attack on Mumbai. This significant cache suggested that the terrorists had sophisticated plans and likely external support. However, the drones were not the only alarming discovery. The NIA also found a substantial stash of weapons and extremist literature. Surprisingly, Israeli flags were among the items seized, hinting at broader and more complex motives behind the activities in Padgha, possibly aiming to incite greater tension and violence.

The revelation of such a well-equipped terror hub so close to Mumbai raised serious national security concerns. The once peaceful village had become a significant threat, capable of launching major attacks, prompting critical questions about local security and community vigilance.

Padgha’s transformation from a quiet village to an ISIS hub known as Al Sham starkly illustrates the severe dangers posed by modern terrorism. It underscores the urgent need for robust intelligence, swift action, and a unified effort to ensure national safety.

Who is Saquib Nachan? The SIMI-linked terrorist who is the brains behind establishing ISIS hub Al Sham in India

Terrorist Saquib Nachan is the mastermind behind the village of Al-Sham. Nachan gained infamy after being involved in multiple terror blasts in Mumbai in just four months. He was accused of a blast at Mumbai Central railway station that injured 25 people in December 2002. A month later, he was accused of another bomb blast, this time in Vile Parle which killed 1 and injured 25 others. In March 2003, Nachan was named in a bomb blast at Mulund station that killed 11 and injured 82.

He was arrested shortly after that by Mumbai Police in April 2003 and held in prison for over 7 years. In 2011, he managed to secure bail but was arrested months later in connection with an attempted murder of VHP activist and lawyer Manoj Raicha.

The former secretary of SIMI was finally convicted in March 2016 for possessing weapons under the anti-terror law and sentenced to 10 years in jail. He served one year and 8 months in jail as a convict, while the remainder of the term as undertrial to come out free in November 2017.

In Padgha, Nachan strategically settled recruits in the pursuit to create a separate state. Intelligence sources reveal that Nachan played a pivotal role in radicalizing youth, organizing various training programs, and managing foreign operations, funding, and psychological warfare against India. His plans included orchestrating bombings across India, surpassing the severity of the 26/11 attacks. Additionally, Nachan administered the Bayʿah (oath of allegiance) to recruits, strengthening their commitment to the jihadist cause.

Under the guidance of foreign handlers, the accused actively participated in terrorist activities, including manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for planned attacks. They encouraged vulnerable Muslim youths to move to Al-Sham (Padgha) to bolster their presence.

However, the details of the nefarious designs of waging armed jihad and terror attacks in India with Padgha or Al-Sham as the ISIS India base came to the fore when the NIA arrested 15 terrorists, including Nachan in December 2023. Nachan’s arrest had come months after the security agencies got hold of his son, Shamil Nachan, who is accused of similar terror activities as his father, underscoring the enormity of rampant Islamic radicalism and terrorism prevalent in India.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Amit Kelkar
Amit Kelkar
a Pune based IT professional with keen interest in politics

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -