Gorakhpur Temple Attack A Terror Incident: UP Police

Story Highlights
  • Accused attacked police men stationed at gate no. 1 of temple with a sharp weapon.
  • Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath represents Gorakhpur in the Assembly.
  • An FIR has been lodged against Abbasi under various sections.

Lucknow: The attack on police personnel posted at the Gorakhnath temple in Gorakhpur by a 29-year-old man is part of a “serious conspiracy” and “could be called a terrorist incident”, UP Police said, even as the attacker’s family said he had been undergoing treatment for depression since 2017. Around 8 pm on Sunday, the accused Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi, an IIT-Bombay graduate who hails from Gorakhpur, attacked PAC personnel posted at the temple with a “sharp-edged weapon” while raising religious slogans and trying to forcibly enter the premises, police said.

According to police, two PAC jawans, Gopal Gaur and Anil Paswan were seriously injured in the attack and admitted to the hospital where their condition has been described as stable. Both suffered injuries on their hands and legs, police said. Abbasi was also injured in the attack, which was foiled by civil police constable Anurag Rajput who overpowered the accused and arrested him. An FIR has been lodged against Abbasi under various sections of the IPC, including an attempt to murder and create enmity between two groups, and the Arms Act.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi said the investigation has been transferred to UP Police’s Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), which will work with the Special Task Force (STF) to probe the incident. ADG (ATS) Naveen Arora and ADG (STF) Amitabh Yash have been sent to Gorakhpur for investigation. Abbasi’s father Muneer Ahmed, who worked for a legal consultancy in Mumbai before taking retirement and returning home last year, told reporters that his son was undergoing treatment for depression and “not been well since around 2017”. He said his son “wanted to commit suicide”, which is why he went to the high-security zone.

Police sources told The Indian Express that during questioning, the family of the accused said he left home on Saturday “for some work and did not return”. ADG (Gorakhpur zone) Akhil Kumar said the police are collecting more details and would seek Mumbai Police’s help in the investigation. Shivaji Rathod, DCP and spokesperson for Mumbai Police, said the UP Police had not contacted them yet. A source at IIT-Bombay confirmed that Abbasi had studied at the institute. Additional Chief Secretary Awasthi said the Chief Minister has announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh each to PAC jawans Gaur and Paswan, and Rajput.

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