The Bangalore police have opposed the bail petition of Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the alleged handler of the pro-Islamic State Twitter account @shamiwitness, arguing he played a key role in propagating the ideas of the extremist group and the investigation against him was still pending.
The police have also filed an application in a special terrorism court, seeking 180 days to file their chargesheet against Biswas. The 90-day deadline for filing the chargesheet in the case lapses on Thursday. However, the police’s plea that was filed on March 9 prevents Biswas, arrested on December 13, from obtaining automatic bail.
A hearing of the bail plea by Biswas and the petition by the police has been posted for the next week.
Biswas has been booked under Section 125 of the IPC “for waging war against any Asiatic power in alliance with the Government of India” — an offence with a maximum punishment of seven years imprisonment. Iraq and Syria are Asiatic powers in alliance with India as defined by the law.
Biswas has also been booked under Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2004, and Section 66 of the IT Act, 2000. In the course of their objections to Mehdi’s bail plea, the police have stated that the pro-IS Twitter account was used for guiding English speaking IS supporters from around the world on the activities of the terrorist group.