Parents of Syed Omer Farooq Hussaini, 22, one of the three Hyderabad youths who were arrested at Nagpur airport last week while they were allegedly travelling to Syria to join Islamic State (IS), had tried to keep him away from his radicalised cousins Mohammed Abdullah Basith, 20, and Maaz Hasan Farooq, 22.
“Police brought back Basith and Maaz from Kolkata last September. We wanted to cut off all ties with them but we are relatives and met at family functions, marriages and festivals. My son had mocked Basith and Maaz when they were detained last year and let off after counselling. He had told them that they were misguided. But they eventually radicalised him,” said Omer’s father Syed Azizullah Hussaini.
“Despite keeping a tab on his activities at home, we could not know what he did when he was out. On December 24, two days before he left home with Basith and Maaz, his BSc (Microbiology) supplementary exams results were announced and he had failed, again. He had failed to clear the final exam last June and had appeared for supplementary exams in October. He did not tell us about the result. He knew I would be angry and this was another reason he fled. I think Basith and Maaz started brainwashing him after he failed last year,’’ he added.
Parents of two other youngsters who left home last September with Basith and Maaz, were caught at Kolkata and brought back never allowed them to meet or even talk to them again. “Their parents keep them under strict watch and do not allow them to socialise with youths who they do not trust, especially Basith and Maaz,” an official said.
He added that Basith had planned the trip and stolen Rs 90,000 from his father’s locker. “They thought that once they reached Srinagar, they would approach any militant organisation who would take them to PoK and from there to Afghanistan and further,’’ the official said.
The three youths have been booked under IPC sections 121 (waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the government), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war against government), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and under relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The Special Investigation Team of Central Crime Station has sought four days’ remand of the three youths who are now in judicial custody.