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Men who threatened Hindu leaders were in touch with Pak-based handler: Surat police

On May 4, Surat police arrested Sohel Abubakr Timol, a Maulvi from Kathor village in the district, for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to kill president of the Hindu Sanatan Sangh Upadesh Rana.
Last Updated : 16 May 2024, 17:08 IST
Last Updated : 16 May 2024, 17:08 IST

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Surat: Three persons arrested earlier this month for allegedly threatening Hindu leaders were in contact with a Pakistan-based handler and received funds through hawala channels, Gujarat police claimed on Thursday.

A terror suspect named Zia ul Haq, arrested recently by the Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad, was part of the same module and took orders from the same Pakistani handler, said Surat police commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot here.

On May 4, Surat police arrested Sohel Abubakr Timol, a Maulvi from Kathor village in the district, for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to kill president of the Hindu Sanatan Sangh Upadesh Rana and threatening some other Hindu leaders including the BJP's Telangana MLA Raja Singh and its former spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

His interrogation led to the arrest of Mohammad Ali from Bihar and Shakil Raza, a resident of Nanded in Maharashtra.

"We found that Maulvi Sohel had two voter ID cards. He also had two birth certificates. Ali is a native of Bihar but works at Lahan city in Nepal. Besides an Aadhaar card, he also had a certificate declaring him a Nepalese citizen,'"said commissioner Gehlot.

"Ali was also in touch with Pakistani handler Dogar and used to give threats to Hindu leaders using 17 virtual numbers and 42 email IDs. Raza used a Pakistani virtual number, provided by Dogar, to give death threats to Hindu leaders. Some other Pak handlers were also part of the network," the official said.

Ali and Raza had allegedly threatened Updesh Rana, Nupur Sharma, social worker Suresh Rajput, blogger Shabnam Shaikh, Shiv Sena Hind chief Nishant Sharma, a Shiv Sena leader from Punjab called Amit Arora and Bajrang Dal leader Kuldeep Soni.

To instill fear, the accused used to send a photo of a man holding an AK-47 rifle to their targets, said Gehlot, adding that a detailed investigation was underway into the group's funding.

"Zia ul Haq, a terror suspect nabbed by UP ATS, was part of the same network and he used to take orders from the same Dogar," the official said.

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Published 16 May 2024, 17:08 IST

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