NIA rejects ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed’s claim, says fabricatedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/nia-rejects-isis-recruit-areeb-majeeds-claim-says-fabricated/

NIA rejects ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed’s claim, says fabricated

Agency says ATS arrested him at airport, it had no role in bringing back the Kalyan resident who had joined IS

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Areeb Majeed

THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) has called alleged Islamic State recruit Areeb Majeed’s claim that the agency was central to bringing him back to India “fabricated”, arguing that he was actually arrested from the Mumbai airport by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

Majeed had claimed in his bail application that his return to the country from Turkey was arranged by high-ranking diplomatic officials in coordination with the NIA.

On Thursday, the special court heard arguments on four pending applications filed by Majeed and one filed by his father, Ejaz.

“The NIA had no concern of bringing the accused back to India. His arrest was made on November 29, 2014 by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad. The ATS apprehended him from the Mumbai airport for the purpose of inquiry of a missing complaint filed on May 25, 2014. There is documentary evidence of his custody being taken from the ATS by the NIA as per record of the station diary entry at the Kalachowkie unit of the ATS,” argued NIA counsel N R Rathod.

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Claiming that he had been coordinating with NIA officials, Majeed’s father has in his application sought for his call data records to be submitted before court. Ejaz has claimed that he received a call from Majeed on November 20, 2014, expressing his wish to return.

Majeed had reportedly requested to make arrangements for his return as he had lost his passport. Ejaz had then contacted an NIA officer and was called to the agency office where he was assured help, says his application.

Representing Majeed during the hearing in the special court Thursday, advocate Farhana Shah argued that the NIA had given an assurance to the Kalyan resident while bringing him back that he won’t be arrested, but did not abide by it.

“If the NIA is claiming that it had no concern of bringing Majeed to India, on what grounds then has he been arrested? The NIA officers were in contact with his father who was not aware that he was being misled,” Shah argued.

On an application filed by Majeed seeking CCTV camera footage from the NIA Mumbai office to prove that he was
tortured, the NIA said there was no record of footage beyond 45 days.

The agency also questioned why Majeed had made the applications after a chargesheet had been filed against him, calling it an “afterthought”.

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“There are charges against him for participating in activities of a terrorist organisation. All applications filed by him are an afterthought to drag the trial. He had made no complaints of torture or his signature being taken on blank papers when produced before a special court regularly,” said Rathod.

The court has reserved its order on the applications till September 8. During the next hearing, the NIA is likely to file a response to the bail plea filed by Majeed.