UP police detain ex-Army doctor in mosque blast case

An Army doctor, who came out of service, was picked up by the Uttar Pradesh police in connection with the bomb blast that rocked a mosque in Bairagi Patti near Kushinagar on Monday.

The Turkpatti police of UP along with Counter Intelligence Cell of Telangana police conducted searches at the residence of Captain Ashfaq Alam in East Janaki Nagar of Tolichowki on Thursday and took him to Kushinagar.

Captain Alam is a native of Bairagi Patti and is preparing for civil services examination. He quit the Army in 2017 and his wife, Captain S.J. Alam is a doctor at the Army Hospital here. Reportedly, the couple are the alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College of Aligarh Muslim University.

Speaking to The Hindu , Kushinagar Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Mishra said that Captain Alam is being questioned by them as his grandfather Haji Kutubbuddin is prime accused in the blast case. “Our teams are having a friendly talk with Dr. Alam. So far, we don’t have any concrete evidence to prove his role in the blast,” he said.

The officer said that Dr. Alam has the information about the blast. “He was in Bairagi Patti to attend a marriage of their relatives when explosives went off inside the mosque,” Mr. Mishra said, adding that they haven’t arrested him.

Another officer associated with the investigation said that notice was issued to Dr. Alam, who was asked not to leave the town till he gets a clearance from investigators.

He said that Dr. Alam’s grandfather Kutubbuddin, who is currently at large, has several cases against him, including that of promoting communal strife.

The officer said that Kutubbuddin procured over 10 kg of low-intensity explosives in April this year and stored them in the mosque. “He was planning to plant the explosives in a temple, whose land was donated by their family members. A court case connected to the encroachment of a portion of land not given by the family members is pending,” the officer said.

Investigators suspect that the explosives went off accidentally and Dr. Alam visited their village after two years.

Sources in Telangana police confirmed that Anti-Terrorist Squad of UP police sought their help in conducting searches and Dr. Alam came back to Hyderabad with the consent of Mr. Mishra. “They took him away for questioning,” the officer said.

Surprisingly, Dr. Alam had booked air tickets to Gorakhpur for Thursday, when the UP police came to Hyderabad.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 9:07:32 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/up-police-detain-ex-army-doctor-in-mosque-blast-case/article29985991.ece