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MEERUT/BAREILLY: Amid reports of terror modules hiding in Deoband and neighbouring regions, police will soon conduct a drive to verify thousands of passport holders residing in the sensitive town as well as the entire districts of Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar.
The exercise comes in the wake of the recent arrest of two suspected Bangladeshi terrorists, who had managed to get Indian passports on Deoband addresses.
Saharanpur DIG KS Emmanuel told TOI: “It’s not only about Deoband or any particular community. The verification of passport holders will take place in entire Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur owing to inputs we have received that a few terror modules could be hiding in the area. There have been a few instances in the past when men with questionable credentials were found here.”
Emmanuel said, “In fact, the Bangadeshi terrorist arrested from Muzaffarnagar in August had got his passport made in Saharanpur. So we are just being cautious and improving the mechanism of inquiry by verifying all passport holders in the region. We cannot take chances when it comes to security.”
In August, UP ATS had arrested Bangladeshi national Abdullah Al-Mamon, who was said to be a member of banned terror outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT). Abdullah had stayed in Deoband for several years before his arrest from Muzaffarnagar.
Many of his associates were picked up from the region later.
On October 5, UP ATS had sounded an alert for absconder Faizan Ahmad who allegedly acted as a key recruiter and was involved in the indoctrination of local youths to lead them into terror activities. During a raid at Faizan’s Saharanpur dwelling soon after the arrest of Abdullah Mamon from Muzaffarnagar, ATS had recovered Islamic State literature among other things.
According to police sources, about 20 Bangladeshi men who are suspected to be in touch with terror organisation ABT have since gone missing in Western UP.Sources in UP police said reverification of papers had become necessary because of the suspicion that a few local police personnel, who verify the antecedents of passport applicants, may have helped alleged Bangladeshi terrorists secure Indian passports. The role of a subinspector and a constable is under the scanner, sources said.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the state government has asked all DMs to identify and take action against Bangladeshi nationals living illegally in their respective districts. In a letter, principal secretary Arvind Kumar has asked DMs to take stern action against those officials who have been involved in getting identity cards for Bangladeshi nationals during their illegal stay here.