New Delhi: A cell of Lashkar-e-Toiba terror outfit based out of Nepal has reportedly become a cause of concern for India's anti-terror agencies. Members of the four member cell based out of a hideout in Nepal are believed to have carried out several recces in some major Indian cities, one of which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi.
Led by LeT operative Umer Madani, the cell is believed to have visited Gorakhpur, Faizabad, Darbhanga and Kolkata apart from Varanasi in the early days of April and May, highly placed sources said.
Security agencies believe that Madani arrived in Varanasi on May 7 and stayed at a guesthouse there. He was reportedly accompanied by a local from Nepal and had met several people there in connection with a possible attack in the city. The duo then returned to their Nepal hideout on May 11.
This was roughly a week before Varanasi was to go for polls in the general elections (on May 19) and most of the BJP stalwarts were in Varanasi to campaign for Modi’s candidature.
The security agencies are currently trying to zero in on the places that the group visited and the people they were in touch with. Their past links with locals are also being probed, officials said.
Madani is reportedly a recruiter for the LeT and is believed to be living in a hideout not far from the Indian border. He has also visited several other Indian cities and towns near the Nepal-India border.
Security agencies have been getting constant alerts about Pakistan-based terror groups trying to foment trouble in different parts of India. The latest alert was generated from near Sir Creek where some abandoned boats were found on Monday, September 9.
“We've inputs that there may be a terrorist attack in southern part of India. Some abandoned boats have been recovered from Sir Creek. We're taking precautions to ensure that designs of inimical elements and terrorists are stalled", said Lt Gen SK Saini, GOC-in-C, Army Southern Command.
The security grid has also been tightened in Jammu region and an alert sounded following intelligence inputs that the Pakistan Army may push in terrorists from Sialkot into RS Pura and Hiranagar sectors to stoke violence.