I wanted to return home to my family: Areeb Majeed

Thoughts about his family back home and the abusive treatment meted out to slaves by ISIS are what prompted him to return home, according to what Majeed told the NIA

After two failed attempts, while recovering from the bullet injuries, I was learning to build an Air Strike Prevention Engineering Construction Centre in Raqqah, where I was employed in the Civil Engineering Department.

On October 21, 2014, I contacted my sister Ayesha on her Skype account and that was the first time I had spoken to them after they were informed about my death. Everyone in the family was very happy to see me.

Thereafter I was in constant touch with my family. They told me only one thing that moved my heart and I began thinking about returning to India. ‘Tumko jo chahiye tha, tumne kar liya, ab apne maa-baap aur bhai behen ke liye wapas aa jao (You have achieved what you wanted Now come back for the sake of your family),’ they told me.

I missed my elder sister Rushna’s wedding, which was on November 9, and this was hurting me a lot. Thereafter, I gave some thought to what my parents had said. I had really achieved what I wanted by participating in jihad.

On November 21, I met some of the camp heads and requested them to give me permission to return to India on grounds of medical and family problems. The Ameer (chief) of the camp warned me that if I went back to India there would be only one place to me jail.

I replied that I knew that I would go to jail, but one day or the other I would meet my family. After that, for seven days I worked in the Tasnia camp as a civil engineer on the project of Air Strike Prevention Engineering Construction Centre. On November 23, I was granted written permission to leave for India.

I went back to the Hudood Centre, where I was registered as an ISIS militant and I was sent back with 15 more people who were waiting for their return in a camp. On November 25, the entire group left for Jerablus (Syria) in cars which had tinted glass and we could not see anything outside.

This was to prevent us from knowing the exact way to the centre. On reaching Jerablus we were taken to Gaziantep City, which is across the Turkey border, in similar cars. We crossed the barbed wires that were installed on the borders and reached the main city in 15 minutes.

I went to the nearby bus stop and left for the airport. I boarded a flight for Istanbul and flew back to India by a Turkish Airlines Flight. On my way back I called up my father and informed him about my return. On November 28, at around 5.30 am, I landed in Mumbai and I was taken into custody.

Case Update
>> Majeed was arrested by NIA officers on November 28, 2014, and was booked Under Section 16, 18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) along with Section 125 (Waging war against any Asiatic Power in alliance with the Government of India) of the Indian Penal Code. He was presented in court and remanded in police custody and, after completion of investigation, he was sent to judicial custody.

>> The chargesheet in the case was supposed to be filed before the court on February 26, but four days before that on February 22 NIA had filed an application for an extension of another 90 days to complete the investigation and file the chargesheet.

>> On March 10, Majeed filed a bail application before a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court. The application was filed on the grounds that he had completed the statutory period of 90 days on February 26 and the NIA had not filed the chargesheet yet. As per law, the chargesheet has to be filed within 90 days from the date of the FIR.

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