UP cops arrest HM terrorist planning attack on Ganesh Chaturthi

A Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist who was planning an attack on Ganesh Chaturthi was arrested in Kanpur on Thursday, police said.

"The terrorist has been identified as Qamar-uz-Zama (37), a resident of Assam, and is an active member of Hizbul Mujahideen," Director General of Police OP Singh said.

He was arrested in Kanpur's Chakeri area, Singh said at a hurriedly convened press conference here.

The DGP said the arrested terrorist was planning an attack on Ganesh Chaturthi but did not elaborate, saying a probe is on.

Replying to a question, Singh said, "Whether he is here to vitiate the religious atmosphere or for any other purpose is part of the probe," he said.

The state's Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), which made the arrest, was tracking him for the past 8-10 days. It appeared from his mobile phone that he was carrying out a recce, police said,

"He was active on social media and had posted a picture of himself in April 2018 with an AK-47 weapon, after which he was under our radar," the DGP said.

That photo went viral on social media, police said.

The arrest was made by the ATS with the help of the National Investigation Agency and the Kanpur police.

"The terrorist had undergone training in Pakistan in 2017 and had joined the Hizbul there. He also stayed abroad between 2008 and 2012," Singh said.

Qamar-uz-Zama is educated with a sound knowledge of computers, but failed his BA third- year exam, Singh said.

He said the police are trying to trace his links and source of funding. They are also probing why he was staying in Kanpur.

"Whether he is here to vitiate the religious atmosphere or for any other purpose is part of the probe," he said.

The 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival began Thursday morning.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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