August 2005 News

Deoband In J&K Terror Frame

19 August 2005
The Hindustan Times

Muzaffarnagar: It was just another film roll, until it was developed. The roll contained 32 snaps - all of terrorists brandishing AK-47 rifles and wireless sets. The dress of the terrorists and the hilly backdrop suggest the snaps were taken somewhere in J&K or PoK. The roll also lends credence to Home Minister Shivraj Patil's recent admission in Rajya Sabha about the connection between western UP and various terrorist organisations. Sources said a girl, who identified herself as Vandana and had come with a child, had given the roll to Gitanjali Photo Studio and Colour Lab in Deoband for developing on August 17. The Deoband studio had, as per the arrangement between the two studios, handed it over to Maan Colour Lab in Muzaffarnagar for developing the same day. The girl was supposed to take delivery on Thursday. The studio owner in Muzaffarnagar was in for a shock when he developed the roll. He immediately informed the police, who only messed up things. Instead of laying a trap for the girl, they took into custody the owners of Maan Colour Lab, Pradeep and Ambarish Tyagi. Word spread and no one turned up to take back the snaps. The owner of the Deoband studio, Atul, too has been taken into custody. As per the description given by Atul, the police are getting a sketch of the girl made. The matter has been brought to the notice of the SSP, DIG and IG. The police have also sent the snaps to J&K police to ascertain the spot where they were taken and identify the terrorists if possible. Investigations are in progress to ascertain the possible links and hideouts of terrorists in Uttar Pradesh, Principal Secretary (Home) Alok Sinha told reporters in Lucknow. Sinha too said the snaps were apparently taken somewhere in the Kashmir Valley. The UP government has issued a statewide alert asking officials to step up vigil in all the districts. Sinha, however, refused to name the sensitive districts. Meanwhile, police officials in Kashmir agreed that the hilly backdrop in the snaps strikingly resembles the hilly areas of J&K and PoK. 'The Kashmir connection is clearly visible from the photographs,' a senior officer told HT.


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