The Navi Mumbai police arrested a 32-year-old man on Thursday in connection with graffiti apparently praising the Islamic State (IS) and its head Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi that appeared on one of the pillars of the Khopta bridge in Uran. The man is mentally unstable, police claimed.
“The 32-year-old is a resident of Khopta village and worked as a forklift operator until a couple of months ago. The man is mentally unstable and undergoing treatment at DY Patil Hospital, from where we took him into custody,” Navi Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Kumar said.
Villagers alerted police about the graffiti. “On the basis of the handwriting, some villagers told police they suspected the 32-year-old. Not only did the handwriting match, the accused too confessed to writing the messages,” Kumar said.
“He is married and has a five-year-old boy, but his wife and son left him some time back. He lives with four brothers, who take care of him. After a recent violent episode, his brothers admitted him at the hospital on Tuesday,” a police officer said.
The accused, whose identity police refused to disclose, is from a village in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. “A police team along with a counsellor interrogated him about his reason behind writing the messages. He claimed he was just repeating what he had heard on news channels,” an officer said.
He has been remanded in custody till July 12.