Fourteen persons, deported from the United Arab Emirates and apprehended by the National Investigation Agency for suspected association with men linked to an alleged terror outfit, were flown from New Delhi to Chennai on a special flight Monday.
It is learnt that the men were produced before a NIA court which granted their custody to the agency. Sources claimed that the men — they were said to be from Chennai, Tirunelveli, Theni, Nagapattinam and Ramanathapuram — were members of Wahdat-e-Islami Hind, a religious organisation in Tamil Nadu.
They were deported after intelligence agencies received credible inputs that they had been in touch with individuals in Tamil Nadu who have now been placed under arrest by the NIA for suspected links to alleged terror outfit Ansarulla.
On Saturday, the NIA searched premises linked to three individuals in connection with its probe into activities of Ansarulla. One among them was Chennai resident Syed Bukhari, president of the Wahdat-e-Islami Hind. On Sunday, the NIA arrested two of the three individuals — Hassan Ali
Yunusmaricar and Harish Mohammed, both from Nagapattinam — “based on incriminating facts revealed during searches and subsequent investigations”. Along with Bukhari, the two men are already accused in a NIA case registered on July 9 against Ansarulla.
The Wahdat-e-Islami Hind has maintained it is a religious organisation with no connection to radical Islam. Established in 2009 in Chennai as a religious organisation, it had earlier denied links to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
While booking Bukhari and his associates, the NIA, in a statement, said they had been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act “based on credible information received that the accused persons, while being within and beyond India, had conspired and conducted consequent preparations to wage war against the Government of India by forming the terrorist gang Ansarulla”.
The NIA claimed that it had “learnt that the accused persons and their associates had collected funds and made preparations to carry out terrorist attacks in India, with the intention of establishing Islamic rule in India”.
During the searches Saturday, the NIA claimed to have seized nine mobile phones,15 SIM cards, seven memory cards, three laptops, five hard disks, six pen drives, two tablets and three CDs/DVDs besides documents including magazines, banners, notices, posters and books.