BIJNOR/MEERUT: A day after five youths were held for allegedly being involved in aterror plot+ that would have targeted Delhi and UP – while one, the imam of a local mosque called Mohd Faizan, has been arrested, the rest were let off after questioning on Friday – senior police officers told TOI that “some 2,000 mosques and madrassas in and around Bijnor are now under a security scanner”.

Since most of those who were detained “were impressionable students who studied in different madrassas”, the attention of law enforcement agencies is now squarely on the madrassas and mosques dotting this swathe of Uttar Pradesh, police said. According to data accessed from the minority affairs department, there are around 500 madrassas out of which 15 are degree level and 55 high school level. There are close to 1,500 mosques in the area under police lens.

Superintendent of police (SP), Bijnor, Ajay Sahani said, “Police and other security agencies will keep a strict vigil over religious institutions across Bijnor and neighbouring areas and also keep track of outsiders in their premises. We will also seek the help of responsible citizens and members of civil society to frequently visit these institutions and places and keep sensitising youngsters in order to prevent them from falling into the radicalisation trap.”