A team of Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) probing the attack on two PAC constables at a gate of Gorakhnath temple has reached Navi Mumbai to gather more information on the arrested accused Murtaza Abbasi, who used to live in one of the nodes of Mumbai’s satellite city, a police official said on April 5.
Mr. Abbasi had attacked two police constables with a sharp-edged weapon at a gate of the famed Gorakhnath temple and tried to barge into the premises on April 4 evening before he was overpowered.
The temple is under high security as it is frequently visited by U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who is the head seer.
After arresting Mr. Abbasi, U.P. police raided his residence in Gorakhpur and collected his laptop and a mobile phone which contains videos related to controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and also about the (Pakistan spy agency) ISI, the official said citing U.P. police.
When asked about the Navi Mumbai link to the probe, the official said Mr. Abbasi’s Aadhaar card mentioned his residential address as “Millenium Tower, Sanpada, Navi Mumbai”.
Accordingly, a team of Uttar Pradesh ATS travelled to Mumbai to collect more information about Mr. Abbasi, he said.
On April 5, the U.P. ATS team visited the building (Millenium Tower) in the Sanpada node near Vashi. The team found that the flat (mentioned in Mr. Abbasi’s Aadhaar card) was sold in 2013, the official said.
He said Mr. Abbasi’s father Munir Abbasi has purchased another flat at Taj Heights Apartment in sector 50 in Seawoods Darave, also in Navi Mumbai.
The ATS team with the help of officials of the NRI police station visited that flat, he said.
It came to light that the Abbasi family had shifted to Gorakhpur in October 2020 and the flat was rented to one Muslim Khan during the lockdown, he said.
Mr. Munir Abbasi had visited his flat in Seawoods last week and it was vacated by the tenant, the official said, adding that the Abbasi senior then returned to Gorakhpur.
“While gathering information about Murtaza Abbasi, police came to know that he mostly kept to himself and was not outspoken,” the official said.
Police are also speaking to the people who knew Mr. Murtaza Abbasi when he was staying in Navi Mumbai’s Sanpada node, he said.
Speaking to reporters in Lucknow on April 5, Additional Director General (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar had said, “The documents, which have been recovered from him [Mr. Murtaza Abbasi] are quite sensational.”
“The probe is now in its initial stage. One case has been registered at Gorakhnath police station regarding the attack on the cops, while another case has been registered regarding use of a sharp-edged weapon,” he said.