The father of a Kerala man who was declared a hostile witness by the National Investigation Agency last week denied on Monday that he was deposing falsely to protect his son and other relatives who have reportedly joined the Islamic State.
He told the court on Monday that he had reported his son, daughter-in-law, their one-year-old daughter, brother, cousin and their families, as missing from the country, at his Kerala village in 2016, but had not lodged a complaint in Mumbai against an Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) employee for influencing them to join the Islamic State.
He denied that the FIR filed by the Mumbai Police was as per his complaint. The IRF employee named in the complaint, Arshi Qureshi, was arrested in 2016 and chargesheeted in 2017.
“It is not correct to say that because they (son and family) have joined Islamic State, to save them and Arshi I am deposing falsely before the court,” the Kerala man’s father said during cross examination conducted by special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves.
He denied that he knew Qureshi and had told police that Qureshi had influenced his son to join Islamic State.
He denied giving a statement quoted in the chargesheet against Qureshi in which he said he had heard his son speak of one “Arshi bhai”.
The chargesheet also quotes him as saying that Qureshi had financed his son and family’s trip to Sri Lanka for an Islamic studies course before they left to allegedly join Islamic State.
He also denied that his son’s laptop and pendrives were seized by the Kerala ATS in his presence.
At last week’s hearing, he had said that he had signed on the Mumbai Police’s FIR but was not aware of its contents as it was not read out to him.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines