Thursday, July 20th, 2006, India E News
Agartala – The Tripura government Thursday gave a clean chit to 11 men from Maharasthra detained on suspicion of having terror links, saying they were genuine Muslim preachers and not involved in unlawful activities.
A government statement said the 11 men, all Muslims from Maharasthra’s Thane district, were members of the Tablighi Jamaat nominated by a Delhi mosque.
‘After completion of interaction and questioning it has been found they visited Tripura for the purpose of preaching the tenets of Islam among the Muslim population in the state for a period of 40 days,’ the statement said.
‘The administration regrets any inconvenience caused during the discharge of the bona fide duties of the police.’
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said police interrogated the 11 men following doubts and suspicion due to language barriers.
‘The Muslim men have not been arrested; nor has any case been registered against them,’ the chief minister told journalists.
The Tripura police detained the 11 people last week from a mosque located close to a village bordering Bangladesh on suspicion of having terror links. A two-member team of sleuths of Mumbai Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrived in Tripura on Monday to interrogate the men following a tip-off by the Tripura police.
The ATS detectives questioned the men for two days for any possible links to the July 11 Mumbai blasts in which around 200 people were killed.
The Tripura police also questioned 28 other Muslim men in different parts of the state who had come from Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat on a religious mission.