NIA says Islamic State sympathisers behind Ujjain blast

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday said four self-radicalised Islamic State sympathisers were behind a March train blast in Madhya Pradesh that left at least 10 people injured.

The NIA made the allegations in a chargesheet naming the four Uttar Pradesh men who had taken an oath of allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The four — Atif Muzzafar, Mohammad Danish, Syed Mir Hussain and Ghaus Mohammad Khan — plotted to carry out attacks in India after forming an Islamic State-influenced terror module in February 2016. The four were arrested by the NIA.

The NIA named another person, Saiffullah Khan, who was killed in a shootout with Lucknow ATS days after the train blast.

The chargesheet was filed against the four accused for their involvement in the conspiracy to plant a bomb in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train, near Jabari Railway Station of Madhya Pradesh on March 7.

“They took ‘bayath’ (oath of allegiance) to ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and also attempted migrating (to Syria or Iraq) several times through Kashmir, Amritsar, Mumbai and other places,” NIA spokesperson Inspector General Alok Mittal said in a statement.

Mittal said after the suspects failed to migrate to the Islamic State held areas, they conspired to cause “subversive activities threatening the sovereignty of India and the safety and security of the nation”.

He said they shifted to a hideout in Lucknow and collected arms and fabricated IEDs there.

They conducted trial blasts and also killed a teacher at Kanpur in November 2016 using the arms they had procured, said Mittal.

“The investigation conducted by the NIA disclosed that Atif had formed a terrorist gang with several members. They got radicalized after watching the online publications of the ISIS including but not limited to its Dabiq and Inspire magazines.”

The agency said it had found “sufficient oral, documentary, technical, forensic and material evidence…which establishes the criminal conspiracy and the terror act committed by these accused”.

–IANS

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