The National Investigation Agency on Saturday filed a chargesheet in a Jaipur court against 33-year-old Mohammed Sirajuddin for allegedly propagating Islamic State (IS) ideology and inciting others to become members of the banned organisation.
A resident of Gulbarga, Karnataka, Sirajuddin was working as an assistant manager with the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) in Jaipur and lived with his wife and two children, when he was arrested by the Rajasthan ATS on December 10 last year. The NIA then took over the probe on February 24 and lodged a case at NIA police station, New Delhi, on February 29.
As per NIA officials, “Investigation conducted has brought on record evidences of his incriminating chats, posts, videos, images and comments on Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram and Twitter (which were) shared and circulated in groups and channels on various social networking sites. Investigation has also established his association with ISIS operatives from various countries who were actively propagating, promoting and inciting people online to join ISIS.”
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The chargesheet was filed under IPC section 120B (criminal conspiracy) as well as sections 13 (punishment for unlawful activities), 18 (punishment for terrorist conspiracy, etc.), 38 (membership of terrorist organisation) and 39 (offences relating to the support given to a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
NIA public prosecutor Ashwini Sharma said, “Sirajuddin was preparing to go to Tripoli, in Libya, and his passport was ready. He was active on the internet and communicated with people in various countries, including Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria.”
While Sirajuddin was not produced in court, his lawyer Paker Farooq opposed the charges and said, “From the start, we have been stating that he has only exchanged his views on WhatsApp which is neither an offence nor a crime. Similarly, if you download material from the internet while surfing, it is not a crime.”
Referring to the nearly 2,500-page chargesheet, Farooq told The Sunday Express, “Our major concern is that the ATS had seized a laptop and a mobile phone from Sirajuddin on December 6 last year but arrested him on December 10. What was added or altered (in the laptop and the mobile phone), will be known only once we get through the chargesheet.” Official records show one laptop (Apple MacBook), one dual SIM mobile, two SIMs and a Secure Digital (SD) card was seized from Sirajuddin at the time of his arrest.
Sirajuddin’s brother Mohammad Riyaz said, “We have full faith in the judiciary and are hopeful that justice will be delivered and his name will be cleared.”