Delhi Police denies LeT approaching Muzaffarnagar riot victims

New Delhi, Jan.7: A senior officer of Delhi police on Tuesday the media reports that militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is in touch with some Muzaffarnagar riot victims and is trying to recruit them.

Delhi Police special cell commissioner S. N. Srivastav said Liaqat and Zamir, who were arrested for being in contact with LeT, were not victims of communal violence in Muzaffarnagar.

"I want to clarify that Liaqat and Zamir, both are not victims of Muzaffarnagar riots. They have nothing to do with it. Though they reside in Muzaffarnagar they are not riot victims," said Srivastav.

Earlier, Delhi police had arrested two men named Mohammed Shahid and Mohammed Rashi. After interrogation, some details surfaced that few people living in Muzaffarnagar area were in contact with the two.

"We had registered a case in the police station special cell regarding conspiracy and membership of a banned militant organisation. During investigation, we had arrested two people, named Mohammed Shahid and Mohammed Rashi, who are the residents of Mewat," he added.

A group of men living in the riot-hit Muzaffarnagar's relief camps have told investigators that two imams had approached them to join a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) module, according to reports.

Two Haryana imams were arrested last month for their suspected links to Lashkar-e-Taiba.

According to reports, a LeT operative had allegedly visited the relief camps of riots victims in Muzaffarnagar communal riots and sought to recruit men.

The men, who recorded their statements, are residents of relief camps in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli. They are believed to have told investigators that the two imams from Mewat-Hafeez Rashidi and Shahid-allegedly made numerous visits along with a senior LeT operative, currently on the run, according to reports.

Three months back, Rahul Gandhi had created a political stir and backlash, when he claimed that intelligence officers had told him about Pakistan's ISI trying to recruit angry Muslim youth from Muzaffarnagar.

Forty-five people have died in the prosperous sugarcane district of Muzaffarnagar and surrounding areas since clashes erupted between Muslims and majority Hindu Jats - a conservative farming community - in a sign of rising tension between the two groups ahead of general elections due by May. Government officials say ten of the dead are Hindus.

The riot-hit victims languish in some 40 schools and mosques that have been converted into relief camps across Muzaffarnagar and neighboring areas, grateful for the safety in numbers and the three meals of rice and lentils provided daily.

The clashes were triggered on August 27 when a Muslim youth was stabbed to death by two Hindu youths after being accused of sexually harassing their sister. A Muslim mob stoned the two Hindus to death.

--ANI (Posted on 07-01-2014)

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