Gorakhnath temple attack case: Police find link between accused, ISIS
The Gorakhnath temple attack case has taken an unexpected turn. The interrogation of the accused Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi has allegedly revealed his ties to the terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). An Uttar Pradesh Police top officer has said that Abbasi had taken the oath of allegiance to ISIS in 2020 and was financially supporting its members, India Today reported.
- The incident, which occurred on April 3, has shaken the UP administration, particularly because it happened at CM Yogi Adityanath's home base. Notably, he resides at the Gorakhnath temple whenever he visits Gorakhpur.
- Adityanath was also a Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur (1998 to 2017). Moreover, he recently won his maiden Assembly election from the Gorakhpur Urban constituency in March.
According to the police, Abbasi got familiar with ISIS online and also got in touch with the outfit's terrorist and propaganda campaigner Mehndi Masood via social media. Police also reportedly said that Murtaza disclosed he had read online articles about weapons like the AK-47 and 5-4 carbine. He wanted to be prepared for carrying out any attack if he was ever given the weapons.
On April 3, Abbasi had reportedly attacked security personnel outside the Gorakhnath temple with a sharp weapon, injuring two policemen. In videos from the incident, he was seen waving a dagger and shouting "Allah hu Akbar" outside the temple, which is the center of the Gorakhnath mutt. A crowd could also be seen hurling stones at Abbasi, who eventually gets pinned down.
Initial investigation into the incident had revealed "a big conspiracy was in play." Prashant Kumar, Additional Director-General (Law and Order), said earlier that police cannot rule out the terror attack angle in it. A razor-sharp weapon, laptop, PAN card, and flight ticket were recovered from Abbasi. "Our recoveries are quite sensational...we will share these with you at a later stage," Kumar had told reporters.