Bangalore’s Central Crime Branch police filed a 36,986 page chargesheet on Monday against Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who was arrested last year for allegedly operating pro-IS Twitter handle @shamiwitness.
Predicting on Twitter the beheading of US journalist James Foley and UK aid worker Peter Kassig several weeks before Islamic State (IS) actually killed them, calling for IS support in Kashmir, tweeting that Kashmir militants were martyrs and frequent retweets about the life of UK jihadist Iftekhar Jaman have all added up to the chargesheet against the 24-year-old, who was arrested on December 13 last year after UK’s Channel 4 identified him as the operator of Twitter handle, @shamiwitness.
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At the time of arrest, Biswas, an engineering graduate from West Bengal, was working as an executive in a multi-national food firm in Bangalore.
Biswas has been chargesheeted under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for advocating terrorism, facilitating recruitment for terrorist activities and for supporting a terrorist organisation.
He has also been booked under the Indian Penal Code for attempting to wage war against India, sedition, waging war against an Asiatic ally of India, provocation to rioting and for making statements amounting to public mischief. He has also been chargesheeted under the Information Technology Act, 2000, for misusing computers.
The offences brought against Biswas entail a maximum punishment of seven years in prison.
“It (chargesheet) contains 35,000 pages and 1,22,000 tweets,’’ Bangalore Police Commissioner M N Reddi tweeted shortly after the filing of the chargesheet.
Sources said the chargesheet contains 15,446 images related to IS activities in Syria and Iraq and dozens of link advocating the IS cause that were tweeted by @shamiwitness.
“Between January 25, 2013 and December 11, 2014, the accused using a fake email id and special VPN software concealed his identity and using information available on the Internet tweeted 1,22,203 messages in support of the IS and its terrorists,’’ police has stated.
Police have placed 855 pages of chat history between Biswas and known IS fighters and the chat Biswas had with Channel 4 where he expressed his desire to join the IS.