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Court sends 12 terror suspects to NIA custody till February 5


New Delhi : Twelve terror suspects, arrested from across the nation for their alleged links with ISIS, were involved in recruiting and financing persons willing to join the ISIS in Syria, NIA today claimed in a special court here which sent them to the agency’s custody till February 5.

During an in-camera proceeding, Special NIA Judge Amar Nath, remanded the 12 accused to 11-day police custody after the agency submitted that their custodial interrogation was needed to unearth the conspiracy of ISIS to spread its reach in India.

The accused’s faces were muffled when they were produced in the court amid tight security.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) sought 14 days of custody of the accused, saying they will be interrogated to collect more evidence about their activities and network and their presence might also be required at different places for identification and corroboration of their statements.

“During their preliminary interrogation, all the accused persons have disclosed many facts about their involvement in this case about recruiting and financing persons, willing to join the caliphate of ISIS at Syria,” it said.

According to the sources, the probe agency informed the court that the accused were arrested for allegedly planning to carry out attacks ahead of the Republic Day.

The 12 accused produced before the court were Bangalore residents Mohd Abdul Ahad, Mohd Afzal and Suhail Ahmed, Hyderabad’s Mohd Shareef Moinuddin Khan and Mohd Obaidullah Khan, Mumbai-based Mudabbir Mushtaq Shaikh and Mohd Hussain Khan, Lucknow resident Mohd Aleem, Aurangabad resident Imran, Asif Ali from Tamil Nadu, Syed Mujahid and Najmul Huda from Karnataka.

Advocate M S Khan, who appeared for 10 of the 12 arrested accused, opposed the NIA’s plea contending that the FIR has been lodged by the agency merely on suspicion and no terror act was carried out by any of them.

Khan also argued that the accused were arrested on January 22 and 23 and were in NIA’s custody since then. Hence, there was no need to remand them to the agency’s custody any more.

NIA, in its remand application, said the accused were regularly in touch with active members of IS in Syria through internet chatting via ‘Skype’, ‘Signal’ and ‘Trillion’ and were also using the social networking sites to motivate youths to join ISIS in furtherance of its ideological activities.

The agency also claimed that the accused were involved in conspiring and planning with their other associates and handlers of ISIS to motivate and lure Indian youths to join the internationally proscribed terror outfit in furtherance of activities of its ideologies. The identity and role of such associates is being ascertained, it said.

“The electronic items seized from the accused and their family members includes laptop, external hard disk, mobile phones and SIMs etc. These items are likely to be forwarded to CERT-In for forensic analysis.

“In view of the above facts, the presence of these accused is required in police custody as the investigation is in progress,” it said.

Opposing the contentions, Khan argued in the court that NIA could procure the records of the alleged internet chats from the service providers and this cannot be a ground to send his clients to NIA custody.

He also claimed that his clients were implicated in the case merely on the basis of suspicion.

NIA said these accused were arrested from various places including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Aurangabad, were produced in the respective courts and brought to Delhi on transit remand.

Two suspected terrorists — Abu Anas and Nafees Khan, both aged 24 years — were yesterday remanded to the custody of the central terror probe agency by the court for 13 days on the allegations that they had Islamic State links.

NIA and other central agencies have arrested 14 people, including these 12, on Friday and Saturday for allegedly planning to carry out attacks ahead of the Republic Day.

They were arrested under several sections including Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the IPC. A case was registered by the NIA on December 9, 2015, against unknown and unidentified persons involved in the activities of Islamic State (IS) in India and Asian Powers in peace with India.

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