Police in Punjab and Delhi on Friday sounded an alert after the driver of a taxi hired by three unidentified persons was found dead in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra, in the aftermath of the terror attack on Pathankot air base.
The body of the driver, identified as Vijay Kumar, was found on Wednesday in Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. Three Punjabi-speaking persons are reported to have hired the taxi from Gaggal in Kangra district for Pathankot.
Delhi police posted an alert on Twitter saying,
“A white colour Alto Taxi no. HP 01 D 2440 was hired from Pathankot by three unknown people. The driver of the taxi, Vijay Kumar from Gaggal, Kangada was found dead on 20 Jan 2016 at the Kalta Bridge, Dist. Kangada.”
Security in the national capital has been increased ahead of this year’s Republic Day parade. On Thursday, Bengaluru police said that the French Consulate in Bengaluru received a threat letter allegedly by Al-Qaida terrorists warning against French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Bharat at this year’s Republic Day parade.
There is also a clear danger from the dreaded Islamic terror organization ISIS (Islamic State). Yesterday, NIA arrested 14 Islamic State sympathisers from 6 cities (Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mangalore, Tumkur and Lucknow) spread across 4 states of Karnataka, Telangana, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Those arrested had formed ‘Janood-ul-Khalifa-e-Hind’, a terror group which has almost similar ideologies to that of ISIS.
Of the 14 detained, five were arrested by the NIA and identified as Mudabbir Mushtaq Sheikh from Mumbra, Mohammed Nafees Khan and Mohammed Sharif Moinuddin Khan from Hyderabad, Najma Hooda from Mangalore and Mohammed Afzal from Bengaluru. The 5 arrested have been booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for planning terror acts, while the remaining 9 are being investigated.
These men had been under surveillance for over six months, and were arrested now as they had accumulated explosives, were trying to procure arms and are suspected to be preparing for attacks on vital installations, said sources.
Intelligence sources said agencies have found five bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide, a black powdery substance suspected to be explosive material, and several timers and circuits from the houses of the accused arrested from Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Mudabbir Sheikh had designated himself as ‘ameer’ of the group and Najma Hooda as ‘ameer-e-wyulat’ or chief of finance. A 35-year-old diploma holder in information technology from Mumbra on the outskirts of Mumbai, Mudabbir has been jobless for the past few months. Police have recovered five timer devices, wires and unaccounted cash of Rs 2.37 lakh from him.
It is interesting to note that despite the meticulous surveillance and recovery of bomb making material from the accused, national media is still unsure whether this is an anti-terror crackdown or not!