A SPECIAL court has granted to the National Investigation Agency custody of three men alleged to have ‘instigated’ 22 youths to join terror organisation Islamic State.
The three are Maulana Haneef, a Kerala-based preacher, Arshi Qureshi, guest manager with Islamic Research Foundation and Rizwan Khan, who worked as a volunteer with Al-Birr Foundation.
While Haneef was arrested in August by the Mumbai police crime branch and interrogated for over 13 days, Qureshi and Khan were previously in custody for 17 days.
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The NIA, which took over the probe from the Mumbai police, told the court that it wanted to interrogate the three.
“Maulana Haneef played a crucial role in the conspiracy to instigate the youth to join ISIS. He had created a WhatsApp Group called Haneefa Maulavi classes and imparted extremist jihadi ideology and sent voice messages to them about it,” special public prosecutor for the NIA, Geeta Godambe, told the court.
She added that the NIA had found funding patterns through an analysis of financial transactions of Qureshi and Khan. She said that the agency would need their custody to probe into certain facts that have emerged in the case.
Advocate Sharif Sheikh, representing Haneef, said the agency had sought his custody after he filed a bail application. Sheikh also submitted a plea stating that there were apprehensions Haneef would be tortured and forced into a confession.
Advocate Ishrat Khan, appearing for the other two accused, also opposed the NIA plea. Special Judge V V Patil allowed the plea, granting NIA custody till December 7.
The three men were arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by Abdul Majid Abdul Kader, the father of one of the youths who has allegedly joined IS.
Areeb Majeed bail plea to be decided on December 8
A special court in Mumbai will decide on the bail application of alleged Islamic State recruit Areeb Majeed on December 8.
Majeed had filed for bail in August, claiming that contrary to the prosecution’s claim that he had entered the country to carry out jihadi activity, his return was arranged for by high-ranking diplomatic officials.
The National Investigation Agency has denied his claims. On Wednesday, as a rejoinder to the arguments put forth by the NIA, advocate Mubin Solkar representing Majeed said the agency had not carried out any investigation in Iraq, where Majeed is alleged to have carried out terror activities.