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‘Declaring suspects as terrorists on basis of sutli bombs premature’: Mehbooba on NIA raids

Srinagar, Dec 28: Declaring suspects as terrorists “on the basis of sutli bombs” and associating them with the ISIS was premature, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said Friday, in a sarcastic reference to the materials the NIA recovered from 10 people it arrested recently after raids at multiple locations.

The National Investigation Agency had on December 26 busted a suspected ISIS-inspired terror group and arrested 10 people, who it said were planning suicide attacks and serial blasts targeting politicians and government installations in Delhi and other parts of north India.

Mehbooba also sought to link the arrests to elections and said the NIA must “learn from earlier episodes” in which the accused were acquitted after long trials.
“National security is supreme. But declaring suspects as terrorists on the basis of sutli bombs (firecracker), associating (them) with the dreaded IS (ISIS) is premature. It has already devastated their lives and families. NIA must learn from earlier episodes in which the accused were acquitted after decades,” she wrote on Twitter.

NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal had said after the Wednesday raids that the agency recovered 25 kg of explosive material — Potassium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate, Sulphur etc.
In addition, 12 country-made pistols, 150 rounds of live ammunition, a country-made rocket launcher, 112 alarm clocks, mobile phone circuits, batteries and 51 pipes to be used as pipe bombs were also recovered, he had said.

The NIA had also recovered steel containers, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, three laptops, knife, sword, ISIS-related literature and a cash amount of about Rs. 7.5 lakh during the searches, Mittal had said.

The former chief minister Friday said national security was best served by being just and inclusive and not by being suspicious of an entire community. “Arrests by NIA in the election season do raise suspicion, especially after the urban Naxal case seems to be falling apart. National security is best served by being just and inclusive, not suspicious of an entire community,” she said.

The NIA had conducted searches across 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi in connection with its probe into the new module called ‘Harkat ul Harb e Islam’.

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