Days after two men were caught on charges of carrying out the assassination attempt on Mahant Yati Narsinghanand, the Mussoorie police in Ghaziabad arrested the mastermind named Salimuddin on Friday (June 11). The two accused were identified as Vipul Vijayvargiya and his brother-in-law Kashif.
As per reports, the duo was instigated to assassinate the Hindu priest by one Salimuddin, who is a resident of Vijaynagar Sector-12 in Ghaziabad. Vipul, who lived in Nagpur, was sent to the Dasna temple by Salimuddin to carry out the nefarious agenda. He was taught Urdu and educated in para-medical science by the mastermind. During the police investigation, it came to light that Vipul had married Kasif’s sister Ayesha one and half years ago.
Although Vipul accepted that he was radicalised and provoked by Salimuddin, he claimed that he went to the temple to have a debate with Mahant Yati Narsinghanand. The police had recovered surgical blades, religious books, and other equipment from the bags of the two accused. Mahant Yati Narsinghanand had accused the duo of carrying out an assassination attempt. At the temple entrance, Kasif had claimed that his name was ‘Kashi Gupta’ and that he was a resident of Nagpur.
Vipul had several connections, tried to mislead the police along with his aide
It has come to light that Vipul Vijayvargiya had connections with several people in Delhi and Maharashtra. Reportedly, he had met several people before making his way to the Dasna temple. The law enforcement authorities realised that Vipul and Kashif had been trying to mislead them since the onset of the investigation. Based on preliminary investigation, the police concluded that the purpose of their visit to the Dasna temple was not limited to having a debate with Mahant Yati Narsinghanand.
Kashif’s father and Salimuddin were office bearers of a radical outfit
During the probe, it was revealed that Vipul’s father-in-law (Kashif’s father) and Salimuddin were office bearers of a radical outfit. Kashif tried to mislead the authorities by naming all his ‘Hindu friends’ and did not name any Muslim aide. This had increased the suspicion about Kashif’s ingenuine testimony to the police. Although Vipul had been staying in Vijayangar for learning Urdu and paramedical science, he did not much information about Ghaziabad.
Police arrested Salimuddin, found erased data on his phone and laptop
However, despite being a resident of the city and well-aware of the restrictions on the entry of Muslims into the temple, Kasif went to the temple along with Vipul using a fake identity. The ATS along with Mussoorie and Vijaynagar police had interrogated several suspects confidentially in the Pratap Vihar of Vijaynagar. Citing sources, Dainik Bhaskar also reported that the cops arrested the man who taught Vipul Urdu and paramedical science. The cops had hinted that they were planning to conduct searches, undertake recce, and attacking the temple security.
The police had registered a case of fraud against Vipul and Kashif for entering the temple using a fake name. The duo was sent to five-day judicial custody on June 8. On Friday, they were interrogated by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). During the probe, the ATS recovered a laptop and some books from the mastermind Salimuddin. According to the police, he had erased data from both his phone and laptop. The two devices have now been sent to experts for data recovery. Salimuddin was also sent to judicial custody, following interrogation.
The Background of the Case
On May 2, sevadaars of Dasna Mandir, Ghaziabad, caught two men identified as Vipul Vijayvargi and Kashif on suspicion of carrying out assassination attempt on Mahant Yati Narsinghanand. Yati Narsinghananad Saraswati said in a tweet, “Two more pigs were caught today who came to murder me. It is not that easy to kill me.”
Anil Yadav, a close aide of Dasna Priest, filed a complaint with the Police. Superintendent of Police Dr Iraj Raja said that both the suspects had been arrested, and an investigation is underway. Kashif told the Police that he came in contact with Vipul on Facebook three years ago. When Police asked the reason for staying in touch on Facebook, he said it was just a normal friendship. Vipul claimed that he wanted to meet the famous priest of Dasna Mandir.
On May 17, Delhi Police uncovered an assassination plot against Dasna Devi Temple head priest Yati Narsighanand Saraswati with the arrest of a 24-year-old Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorist Mohd. Dar alias Jehangir from Delhi’s Paharganj area. Besides one .30 bore pistol along with two magazine and 15 live rounds, the Police recovered a Bhagwa kurta, a Kalava, a Mala and a Chandan-tika from the terrorist. Reports suggest that he wanted to kill the priest while posing as a Hindu.