An Islamic preacher, arrested in Kerala for his alleged links with terror outfit Islamic State (IS), was on Sunday remanded in the custody of Mumbai police.
The accused, Mohammed Hanif, was brought to the city and produced before a court which sent him to police custody till August 20, a senior police official said. Hanif, who hails from Kambalakkad in Wayanad, was taken into custody at Panur in Kerala on Friday night, police said.
He was alleged to have radicalised 11 of the 21 persons from Kerala who have gone missing and are suspected to have joined the IS, they said. On August 8, police had said of the 21 gone missing, 17 were from Kasaragod and four from Palakkad. They include four women and three children. Their disappearance came to light last month after the families approached officials in Kasaragod.
The father of Ashfaque, one of the missing young men, had recently lodged a complaint against Arshid Qureshi, an employee of controversial preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, Rizwan Khan, Hanif and another person. Based on the complaint, Nagpada police had registered an offence under relevant sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 1967 and section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
According to police, Ashfaque’s father alleged that the accused brainwashed his son to join the terror outfit. Qureshi and Khan had also been earlier arrested by Kerala police. Police said another accused named in the FIR was still at large and efforts were being made to arrest him.
Investigation of the case is being carried out by the Crime Branch, CID and Mumbai police. On July 21, Kerala Police and Maharashtra ATS had picked up Qureshi from Navi Mumbai on July 21 for allegedly radicalising youths.
The Kerala police traced Qureshi to Mumbai following a complaint lodged in Kochi by the brother of a young woman, who is suspected to have joined ISIS along with her husband.
In a similar operation, Khan, also allegedly instrumental in recruiting youths for the terror outfit, was apprehended from his residence at Kalyan in neighbouring Thane district on July 22.