Two terrorists of the Al Qaeda-supported Ansar Ghazwatul Hind were arrested from the outskirts of Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow on Sunday and explosive materials were seized from them, a senior official said.
Minhaz Ahmed and Maseeruddin, both residents of the city, were apprehended by the state police's Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and they were planning to 'unleash terror activities on August 15 (Independence Day) in different cities of the state', including Lucknow, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Prashant Kumar told reporters.
"The ATS has arrested two active members belonging to Al Qaeda-supported 'Ansar Ghazwatul Hind'. Minhaz Ahmed, a resident of Lucknow's Dubagga area, and Maseeruddin, a resident of Lucknow's Madiaon area, have been arrested. Explosive material has been recovered from them," he said.
Ahmed and Maseeruddin, on the instructions of Umar Halmandi, the head of the Uttar Pradesh module of the Al Qaeda, along with their associates were planning to 'unleash terror activities on August 15 in different cities of the state, especially its capital Lucknow', the additional director general of police (ADGP) said.
"They were planning explosions at important places, memorials and crowded places, and also to use human bombs. For this, they were collecting weapons and explosives," Kumar said.
He also said that members of this module are not only from Lucknow, but also from Kanpur in the state.
Raids are being conducted at different places to apprehend associates of these terrorists, Ahmed and Maseeruddin, the ADGP said.
"During interrogation, the accused persons said that their accomplices ran away from their house. The ATS team along with the local police has undertaken intensive checking," Kumar said and added that a case has been registered in this connection at the ATS station.
They will be produced before a court, and then taken into police custody.