New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday carried out searches at seven places in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh in connection with its ongoing probe into a new Islamic State (IS)-inspired module Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam, officials said.
Several teams of the counter-terror probe agency launched the searches simultaneously in Uttar Pradesh's Amroha and Bulandshahr besides Punjab's Ludhiana, and several places early in the day, a senior NIA official said.
The agency has also rounded up a 50-year-old resident of Bulandshahr, who runs a general store and has spent over 25 years in Saudi Arabia.
The raids that were still underway, kicked off after the NIA got leads from those arrested during their interrogation. The agency is looking into the role of a foreign mastermind behind the new module.
The action comes in the wake of a case it registered on December 20 under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
On January 11, it had arrested a suspect from Uttar Pradesh's Hapur district. Earlier on January 4, Naeem, the alleged arms supplier of the Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam, was arrested from Meerut.
The initial arrests though had come late last year on December 26, when 10 members, including mastermind Mufti Mohammad Suhail of the new IS module, were arrested from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh after carrying out searches at 17 places.
The arrested men were allegedly planning to attack some political personalities, security establishments as well as crowded places in Delhi and the National Capital Region.
The NIA also seized 25 kg of explosive material including potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, sulphur, sugar material paste, mobile phone circuits, batteries, 51 pipes, remote control car triggering switch, wireless digital doorbell for remote switch, steel containers, electric wires, knife, sword, IS-related literature and Rs 7.5 lakh in cash.
The agency had also seized a country-made rocket launcher, 12 pistols, 112 alarm clocks, 100 mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, several laptops and various electronic gadgets, besides 150 rounds of ammunition .
The NIA had ever since been carrying out follow-up searches in Uttar Pradesh to identify more suspects of the new IS module.