Teams of the National Investigation Agency raided five places in Uttar Pradesh and two in Punjab on Thursday as part of its probe into a new IS module and detained four persons, officials said. These raids were reportedly carried out in connection with alleged terrorist activities being planned by the new Islamic State-inspired module Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam.

NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal said searches were carried out at 7 places in western UP and Punjab on Thursday morning. One of those arrested is a Maulvi from Ludhiana.

The NIA teams along with the police conducted raids in Garhmukteshwar area of Hapur district, Kaloli village in Bulandshahar district, Battkheri village in Amroha district, Rampur, Jasora and Ajnera villages of Meerut district.

Three persons were reportedly detained for interrogation in Hapur district, though the Hapur Superintendent of Police Sankalp Sharma denied it  He however confirmed the raids following “vital information” from Naeem who was arrested from Meerut on charges of supplying pistol to this new IS module.

The Hapur police gave backup support to the NIA teams and accompanied them through out the raids, said the SP.

Another team raided Kaloli village in Bulandshahar district from where Habib, a grocery shop owner, was detained . Habib returned to his village some time back from Saudi Arabia where he had spent many years of his life.

Raids were also conducted in Jasora and Ajnera villages of Mundali police station in Meerut.

In Ludhiana, the maulvi was detained from Madhini mosque on Rahon road. According to reports, he was identified as Mohammed Owais.

On January 10, NIA had arrested Mohammed Absar of Jasora village who was a teacher in Jamia Hasania Abul Hasan Madarsa in Piplera village of Hapur district. His maternal uncle lives in Ajnera village. It could be due to this connection that the NIA conducted raids in the two villages.

The teams also raided the house of one Zubair in Battkheri village of Amroha but he managed to escape.

Prior to this, Naeem of Rardhana village in Meerut district was arrested on charges of supplying pistol to Iftekhar Saqib of Vaith village in Hapur. It was Iftekhar who told the NIA about Naeem and Absar. Absar and Iftekhar had reportedly visited different locations in Jammu and Kashmir thrice between May and August and are charged with being involved in terror plots.

On December 26, NIA had arrested five members of the ISIS-inspired outfit from Amroha.

(With agency inputs)