The chargesheet filed against Kalyan youth Areeb Majeed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has statements of witnesses including his father, friends, classmates and local acquaintances to support the claim that he had become a ‘jihadist’. The NIA has added statements from the arrested youth’s social networking contacts, as well.
The NIA had filed the chargesheet against the civil engineering student from Thane under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Areeb is under arrest. His family has appointed a team of defence lawyers headed by Advocate Mubin Solkar, to secure his bail. When contacted, Solkar said he was out of the city and was yet to study the chargesheet. He said once he is back, he will apply for Areeb’s bail.
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Areeb, along with three others had reportedly gone abroad and joined the Islamic State (IS). Areeb, disenchanted with the IS, had returned in November 2014.
According to the chargesheet that runs into over 8000 pages, Areeb’s father, Dr Ejaz Majeed, told NIA that for the past one year, Areeb had been taking more interest in religious practices. He was behaving normally with family and everyone. Since last one year, he became more religious and was advising family members and others to follow the basic tenets of Islam,” the father’s statement read.
The statement says after his father observed Areeb taking keen interest in watching video clips of “jihad and atrocities on Muslims”, he advised his son, who was “brilliant”, to focus on his studies.”
“I advised him to focus on studies and avoid watching such clippings, which are generally misleading,” his father said.
When Areeb did no” “accept the suggestion” , Ejaz took him to a Maulana for counselling. “I wanted the Maulana to counsel him regarding the true meaning of jihad and hizrat and requested him to guide Areeb so that he is not distracted by things in the social media. I wanted the maulana to share his greater knowledge and virtue about Isla”,” the statement in the chargesheet read.
On May 24, 2014, Areeb left for a group study and told his father he would return the next day. Failing to contact Areeb the next day, his father visited Areeb’s friend house. The friend informed Ejaz that he last saw Areeb on May 24, 2014 at 10:30 pm. Ejaz registered a missing person complaint.
The chargesheet says that two days later, Ejaz claimed to have received a call from Areeb that he had left India and was in Baghdad, Iraq. “He told me he has taken the passport and Rs 30,000 from his cupboard and he repented taking the money. He used to call occasionally to inform about himself and inquire about us,” the father’s statement read.
“I used to persuade him to come back by telling him that his mother was unwell,” the father said. There was no communication for a while but in September, Areeb called his sister and told her he was alive. This time, Areeb said he realised his parents were correct and that he wished to come back, the statement read.
In the chargesheet, Areeb’s friend states that he tried to dissuade him from leaving, and that he should think about his parents. “Areeb told me he was sorry for them,” the statement read.
According to the chargesheet, Areeb had also spoken to classmates about going to Kashmir with his family as his mother wanted him to marry a family friend’s daughter in Kashmir.
A friend’s statement read, “He told me that he wants to go to Iraq for ziarat. We told him not to during the exam and that he should attend his exams but he again disagreed.”
According to the statement, on May 25, 2014, “Areeb went to for snacks, came back with a bag… with daily-use items including napkins, to”el”.
The witness stated that the same day at 9:30 pm, Areeb introduced him to Fahad, a co-accused. “I told Areeb not to go. He told me nikal raha hun, mulakat hogi baad mein, zinda raha toh milengay, warna upar miltey hain (I am leaving, will meet you later if I am alive, else I will meet you in heaven),” a friend’s statement read.
The seven-volume chargesheet includes four volumes of call data records. Of the 113 witnesses’ statements, the agency has statements of two witnesses roped in to translate Arabic to English. It includes statements of family members of the three other Kalyan youths, who allegedly left with Areeb. The travel and tour operators, whom Areeb allegedly contacted for travel to Iraq, were summoned by the agency to give their statements.