New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday said there is no link between Pakistan's ISI and Muslim youth, who were victims of Muzaffarnagar riots, but agreed with Delhi Police's statement that two suspected LeT operatives had met two persons in the area.
"There is no evidence or intelligence inputs that suggested that the ISI had approached the riot victims," a senior Home Ministry official said.
Minister of State for Home R P N Singh had also expressed similar view while replying a question in Parliament on December 11, 2013.
"As per information available by intelligence agency, there are no inputs suggesting any link between ISI, Pakistan and the Muslim youth belonging to the families of minority community affected in the recent communal riots in the district of Muzaffarnagar," he had informed Rajya Sabha.
The Home Ministry official, however, agreed with Delhi Police's statement that two suspected LeT operatives had met two people in Muzaffarnagar region but denied that the two residents of Muzaffarnagar were riot victims or had anything to do with the violence there.
"It is a fact that there are some ISI operatives in Western UP. But so far, we have no evidence or intelligence inputs that suggested that the ISI has approached the Muzaffarnagar riot victims," the official said.
Two suspected LeT operatives had met two people in Muzaffarnagar region, Delhi Police said, three months after Rahul Gandhi had stoked a controversy claiming that Pakistan's ISI had approached disgruntled victims of the communal riots.
However, the police denied that the two residents of Muzaffarnagar were riot victims or had anything to do with the violence there.
Delhi police's Special Commissioner of Special Cell told the media that the suspected operatives Mohd Shahid and Mohd Rashid, who have been arrested recently from Mewat region of Haryana, had met Liyakat and Zameer, Muzaffarnagar residents in connection with mobilising funds for construction of a mosque.
The Special Cell had last month claimed to have busted a terror module of Lashkar-e-Toiba which was in an "advanced stage" of planning a militant strike in Delhi with the arrest of these two suspected LeT operatives.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had courted a controversy in during election campaign in October last when he had claimed that Intelligence Agency officials have told him that ISI was trying to recruit disgruntled youth from among the victims of Muzaffarnagar riots.
Shrivastava said police had arrested Mohd Shahid and Mohd Rashid, who are residents of Mewat region. "We interrogated them, checked their background and tracked all those people who were in contact with them," he said.
"We came to know that they were in contact with some people living in Muzaffarnagar region. When we asked them about this, they told us that Rashid along with another man, whom I cannot name right now, had gone to Deoband.
"On their way back, they telephoned one Liyakat who was already known to them and told him that they will stay at his house in the night and take a train to Palwal, Mewat in the morning," he said.
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The duo stayed at his house in the night and in the morning, Liyakat (58), who works under UP education department, took them to Thana Bhavan railway station. He then called a friend, identified as Zameer asking him to arrange for tea for his guests, he said.
When they were having tea, Liyakat left from the spot while Zameer kept talking to them. After this the duo came back to Mewat, police said.
The man, whose identity police is not revealing, then called Zameer that he wants to build a mosque for which he needs money.
He further told him that they can do some kidnapping for ransom, the money earned out of which can be used to build the mosque and other activities.
They then met Zameer twice in Delhi and tried to persuade him to arrange some men, through whom kidnapping can be carried out and that money cane be utilised in building mosque and other activities. However, when Zameer realised that they want to do things like these, he backed out and cut off all contacts, he said.
However, the Special Cell clarified that both Liyakat and Zameer are not riot victims.
"I would like to make it very clear that both Liyakat and Zameer are not victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots, they have nothing to do with them. Although they live in Muzaffarnagar, they are not riot victims," Shrivastava said.
Police have produced both Liyakat and Zameer before the court and got their statements recorded under section 161 CrPC and 164 CrPC. We will sight them as witness so that we have a strong case against them, he said.
Asked whether Zameer was told that the money will also be used to avenge Muzaffarnagar riots, Shrivastava said, "It is just one sided statement right now and unless we verify it, make more arrests in the case and interrogate them, we will not give any statement in the case till then."