The Pakistan-born Canadian writer Tarek Fatah was to be targetted by a terror group on his India visit. This was revealed by two of the four terror suspects arrested by the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) during interrogation. The information has been shared with central agencies, said an ATS officer. In a joint operation of ATS spanning five states, cops had arrested Nazim Shamshad alias Umar, Zeeshan alias Ghazi Baba alias Muzammil, Faizan alias Mufti and Ahtesham. They were caught from Mumbai, Punjab, Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, respectively, reports The Indian Express.
According to ATS IG Asim Kumar Arun, the police produced Faizan and Ahtesham before the court on Friday. On Saturday, ATS procured their custody remand from the court. The other two suspects including Umar, the alleged group leader, and Zeeshan were produced before a local court in Lucknow on Monday. The court sent them to judicial custody. However, the ATS will move court on Tuesday seeking police custody remand of other accused too, revealed Indian Express.
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During the interrogation of suspects Faizan and Ahtesham, who are in 8-day police custody, they revealed a plan to attack Tarek Fatah. They were also planning to kill a police officer serving in Mumbai police, said an ATS officer. For the purchase of explosives and weapons, Faizan said he was in touch with a youth in Mumbai. Faizan met him in Bijnor and paid an advance for the explosive but the youth failed to deliver the consignment, the officer informed.
However, the plan to attack was not limited to Tarek Fatah and the police officer. The arrested suspects had also said while questioning in custody that they planned to target a crowded market or a fair in Haridwar, Shia Eidgah at Naugawan Sadat in Amroha. Torching a sugar mill at Narkatiaganj in Bihar and targeting any cylinder or battery shops in any market was also on the list, the officer added.