'Lashkar imams went to UP to avenge sufferings of Muslim victims of riots'

MuzaffarnagarPeople living in the riot-hit villages and camps of victims in Muzaffarnagar said they were apprehensive about their future. (IE Photo)

The Delhi Police Tuesday said that suspected members of a Lashkar-e-Toiba module in its custody had visited the riot-hit western Uttar Pradesh district of Muzaffarnagar and contacted some residents there.

The suspected Lashkar operatives had during their questioning claimed that they visited the region to avenge the suffering of Muslim victims of the Jat-Muslim riots in September but this claim had to be verified, the police alleged.

The Indian Express had reported Tuesday that two Haryana imams arrested last month for their suspected links to Lashkar-e-Toiba, and another LeT operative on the run, had allegedly visited relief camps of victims of the Muzaffarnagar communal riots and sought to recruit men to their module.

It had also reported that some of the men allegedly approached by the suspected LeT operatives had refused to join hands with the terror group, informed the Special Cell of the Delhi Police and recorded detailed statements under Section 164 CrPC in the chamber of a city magistrate at the Patiala House court Monday.

Delhi Police Special Commissioner (Special Cell) S N Shrivastava told a press conference two residents of Muzaffarnagar had deposed in court but they were not riot victims. He did not respond when asked if there were others from the district who had also given their statements in court Monday.

Asked if the suspected Lashkar operatives had tried to lure Muzaffarnagar residents to avenge the violence against Muslims during the riots, Shrivastava said: "This is not totally untrue. This is one side of the story. This is their claim. We will have to verify this. Before that, I do not want to make any comments."

But he refused to respond when asked if Lashkar was trying to radicalise Muslim youths in the riot-hit areas of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts.

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