The NIA court in Shimla on Thursday sentenced Abid Khan, a member of the Islamic State (IS), to five years in jail. Abid (23), who was arrested from Kullu earlier this year, was convicted on July 19 for carrying out unlawful activities, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence, besides various other provisions punishable under Explosives Substances Act. The chargesheet submitted in the court that led to Abid’s conviction details how, in order to evade detection by intelligence and investigation agencies, he had been using at least six web-based instant messaging and chat platforms to stay in touch with his IS handlers and for recruitment of young Muslims into ISIS. These web apps included WhatsApp, Telegram, Tango, Signal and Trillian. Abid also used Hello Talk, a learning language exchange app that connects directly with native speakers and provide interface to text and speak.
“During recovery made under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, it has been established to the extent that Abid Khan was in touch with so many foreign numbers through Hello Talk,” the NIA chargesheet said.