A youth from Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar district, who was picked up by the Mumbai’s Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) for his alleged links with the Islamic State, was declared “adult” by the court on Tuesday. His custodial remand was also extended by 15 days.
A local court in Mumbai rejected the plea by Rizwan’s lawyer who had appealed that the youth be tried as a juvenile. He submitted his Class X certificate as “proof” that his son was 16 years old.
But the court relied on the family’s ration card and the details of Nizamuddin’s (Rizwan’s father) service sheet produced by the ATS officials and declared that the accused is not a juvenile but an “adult”. Nizamuddin is a revenue clerk posted in Kushinagar. The ATS, based on its officials’ investigation so far, claims Rizwan to be the Islamic State’s “No-2 (Nayab Amir) operative in India”. He was arrested from his native place on January 22.
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A team of UP’s Anti Terrorist Squad, too, would travel to Mumbai to interrogate him, a senior official here said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, ATS, Dinesh Ahir, the investigating officer in the case, said, “Family certificate (ration card) and electoral roll mention his date of birth as May 11, 1996 while his father’s service sheet puts his age as ‘six years’ in 2002. Rizwan had also voted in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.”
On the basis of documents produced by the ATS, the Mumbai court declared Rizwan an “adult” on February 11 and sent him to five days’ police custody. The court Tuesday extended the remand by another 15 days.