LUCKNOW/GORAKHPUR: A day after the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested a Muslim youth (said to be an IIT graduate) for attacking cops at the Gorakhnath temple, the state government on Monday said that it has not ruled out the terror angle of the attack incident and transferred the case to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
Addressing a media briefing in Lucknow on Monday, UP ADG (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar said the situation could have gone out of control had the accused not been nabbed. UP ATS and UP STF will look into the matter from here on.
“Items recovered from the person reflect that a bigger conspiracy was in play and we cannot deny that this could have been a big terror attack,” the ADG said. “Three PSE constables, who busted this incident, would be given Rs 5 lakh each as declared by the Chief Minister,” he added.
As for the details, the ADG informed that the investigations are at a preliminary stage and more would be shared as the case unfolds. “Our recoveries are quite sensational and we will share these with you at a later stage. Two separate cases have been registered and the local police are working on the same,” he told the media persons.
On Sunday night, the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested a 29-year-old Muslim youth, who dramatically attacked two police constables with a sharp-edged weapon at the main entry gate of Gorakhnath temple, leaving two policemen injured. He was overpowered and later arrested by police.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the head priest of Gorakhnath temple.
Identified as Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi, a native of the city, he attacked the policemen deployed at the temple gate with “banka” without any provocation, the police said in an FIR filed against him. He also raised religious slogans while attacking the policemen, the police said.
The FIR has been filed at Gorakhnath police station under sections 186 (punishment for obstructing public servant from discharging duties), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 307 (attempt to murder), 332 (causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 333 (causing grievous hurt to deter public servant), 353 (assault on public servant), and 394 (attempt of robbery) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The accused, Abbasi, is said to have graduated from the prestigious IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Bombay in 2015. He is the only son and his father, Munir, is a legal advisor, said the police.
The two police constables, identified as Gopal Gaud and Anil Paswan, have been admitted to a hospital with serious injuries. While Gaud sustained injuries on his back and hands, Paswan was injured in the leg and hands. They were deployed at gate number 1. Both are said to be out of danger now. The assailant too was injured and admitted to a hospital.
ADG Zone Akhil Kumar said, “Gorakshpeeth is a very famous and important place. The chief minister also visits the temple frequently. Such an incident is very serious at such an important place. The police exhibited a lot of patience. We are investigating all aspects and can’t rule out the terror angle either,” Kumar said.
The police also found a placard and plane ticket in his bag, along with a PAN card, a dao (sharp weapon), and an expensive laptop.
Gorakhnath temple emerged as a political power centre after its head mahant Yogi Adityanath became the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister in 2017. The temple has a large number of followers across the country and everyday a huge number of people visit the temple to offer prayers.
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