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Accused was in contact with ISIS fighters and sympathizers via social media, UP ADG says

In the latest development of the Gorakhnath Temple attack, the accused Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi was in contact with ISIS fighters and sympathizers via social media. Prashant Kumar, ADG Law and Order, said analysis of data from many of his electronic devices, various social media accounts like Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and e-wallets was done.

Abbasi, an IIT graduate, tried to force his way into the premises of the famous Gorakhnath temple on April 3 and attacked security personnel with a sickle, injuring two officers of the Provincial Armed Gendarmerie (PAC), a said the police. He was quickly subdued by other security personnel and arrested.

Mr Kumar further disclosed that the accused was arrested by Bengaluru police in 2014 for being in connection with Islamic State propaganda militant Mehdi Masroor Biswas. “He was influenced by the radical preachers of the terrorist organizations and the promoters of terrorism from the Islamic State,” added the ADG.

The accused, through his bank accounts, sent around 8.5 lakh Indian Rupees to support ISIS terrorist activities through organizations linked to ISIS supporters in different countries in Europe and America . “He sent various weapons – AK47, M4 carbine and other missile technology, via the Internet,” Kumar added.

The accused carried out a deadly lone wolf attack at the southern gate of the Gorakhnath temple and attempted to snatch the rifle from security guards on duty to meet his terrorist demands.

“His intention was to conduct a major operation after snatching the weapon,” added the ADG.

On April 25, a special court granted the anti-terrorist brigade custody of Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi for seven days in connection with the attack.

His period in custody would end on May 3.

The ATS had produced Murtaza in court under ATS Judge Mohammad Gazali after bailing him out of a prison in Gorakhpur.

The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, is the chief priest of the Gorakhnath temple and stays there frequently. The very strict Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was invoked against the accused.

The UAPA allows investigative agencies to obtain a longer pre-trial detention of the accused and an extended time to file an indictment.

Posted: Saturday April 30th 2022, 5:53 PM IST