Wanted by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) for allegedly supplying arms to members of ‘IS module’ Harkat-Ul-Harb-e-Islam, suspect Naeem was arrested by the police from Kithore district on Thursday night.

Shortly after his arrest, Naeem was handed over to the NIA team which took him to Delhi for interrogation.

SP ( Rural) Rajesh Kumar confirmed the arrest of Naeem from a farmhouse in Kithore on a tip off from an informer.

According to the SP, Naeem was one of the accused who supplied pistol to members of the IS-inspired module and was wanted by the NIA. He said the district police did not have any case against him.

The police said Naeem was arrested  from the farmhouse after they got definite information about him from  an informer. Confirming his arrest, Kithore inspector Prem Chand Sharma said picked him up in the dead of night.

Sources, however, claimed that villagers had handed him over to the Kithore police.

The NIA had on 26 December busted a network of the IS-inspired module in Meerut, Amroha, Hapur and other districts of Western UP and arrested 10 people for allegedly having link with the outfit, Harkat-Ul-Harb-e-Islam, who were said to be planning blasts on New Year.

The arrested members told the NIA that Naeem had supplied pistol to Mufti Saqib who was arrested from Vaith village of Hapur district earlier. The police had raided his house on 16 December but Naeem managed to escape during the raid.

Two days after the raid, Naeem released a video claiming his innocence. He admitted that Saqib was his distant relative but he did not supply any weapon.

In Delhi, the NIA confirmed that Naeem was in custody of the agency.

The agency had seized a country-made rocket launcher, 12 pistols, 112 alarm clocks, 100 mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, several laptops and various electronic gadgets, besides 150 rounds of ammunition on 26 December after carrying out searches at 17 places – six in east Delhi’s Jafarabad area, six in Amroha, two each in Lucknow and Hapur and one in Meerut.

The agency also seized a country-made rocket launcher, 12 pistols, 112 alarm clocks, 100 mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, several laptops and various electronic gadgets, besides 150 rounds of ammunition.

After the 10 arrests, the NIA carried out follow-up searches in several cities of UP to identify more suspects, and also rounded up many people for questioning.

The NIA also seized 25 kg of explosive material, such as potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, sulphur, sugar material paste, mobile phone circuits, batteries, 51 pipes, remote control car triggering switch, wireless digital doorbell for remote switch, steel containers, electric wires, knife, sword, IS-related literature and Rs 7.5 lakh in cash.

All arrested members of ‘Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam’ are in NIA custody now.

The agency had registered a case under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.