The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed an application before a special court in Mumbai seeking custody of three men accused of radicalising Kerala youths who joined the Islamic State (IS).
Mumbai-based accused Arshi Qureshi, a guest manager with Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, Rizwan Khan, who worked as a volunteer with Al-Birr Foundation, and Kerala-based preacher Maulana Mohammed Hanif, are currently in judicial custody in city prisons. The men were arrested on the basis of a complaint filed by Abdul Majid Abdul Kader, the father of one of the youths who has allegedly joined IS.
The case registered at Nagpada police station was transferred for investigation to the Mumbai crime branch, which had initially been granted custody of the men. The NIA, which has taken over the case recently, has sought custody to interrogate the men. The plea comes two days after the NIA sought an extension of 90 days under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act to file the chargesheet in the case.
Special Judge VV Patil has issued a production warrant to prison authorities including Taloja central jail where Qureshi and Khan are lodged and Arthur road jail where Hanif has been kept. The three will be produced before court on November 28 and given an opportunity to be heard on the NIA plea.
According to Kader’s complaint, his son Ashfaque had told him that it was Qureshi who financed his trip to Sri Lanka in January 2016 for a religious trip. Ashfaque, along with his wife and daughter, left the country again in April and allegedly sent an audio message to his family about joining ISIS. In his bail plea filed recently before the same court, Hanif has said that he has been falsely implicated and had nothing to do with the radicalisation of the youths, including Ashfaque.