Lucknow: An IIT graduate attacked two policemen with a sharp weapon outside the Gorakhnath temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur and tried to break into the temple while raising religious slogans last evening, before he was overpowered by a crowd. A “terror attack” cannot be ruled out, the UP police said.
In dramatic videos, Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi is seen waving what appears to be a dagger and shouting just outside the Gorakhnath temple, the headquarters of the Gorakhnath mutt, of which Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is head priest. Murtaza keeps lunging at the policemen and shopkeepers who try to catch him.
A crowd is seen throwing rocks at Murtaza, who is finally pinned to the ground. The incident took place outside the temple gate at 7 pm on Sunday.
Murtaza is a resident of Gorakhpur and graduated from the prestigious IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)-Bombay in 2015, said the police. A laptop, a phone and a ticket were found on him.
“ltems recovered from the person makes it seems a big conspiracy was in play and we cannot deny that this could have been a terror attack,” said Prashant Kumar, Additional Director General, Law and Order.
“Our recoveries are quite sensational and we will share these with you at a later stage. Currently our investigation is at a preliminary stage. “Two cases have been registered and the local police are investigating right now but other directions will be passed soon,” Mr Kumar said.
According to him, a proper security system was in place and this averted a disastrous situation. “If this person had gained entry, normal pilgrims could have been harmed. Those posted at the temple have shown tremendous restraint and arrested this person,” he said.
He also said that the angle of terror cannot be ruled out as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath often visits the region. “Strict action will be taken after probing the incident from all angles,” the ADG added.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to hand over the probe to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) as the terror angle of the incident is not being ruled out. “The case has been transferred to ATS as we cannot rule out the terror angle in the incident and a detailed investigation has been initiated.”Vipin Tada, SSP Gorakhpur told sources.