In a major setback for the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), the Sewri Court sent the UP-based alleged ISIS second-in-command for India to a children’s remand home in Dongri on Saturday.
(Top) The juvenile and his parents (Below)
According to the defence advocate, the accused was under-aged and should be treated as a juvenile.
Arrested by the Mumbai Nagpada ATS, along with the Special Task Force, UP, on January 23 from Khushinagar, in UP, he was charged under UAPA act and Section 125 of the IPC. He was brought to Mumbai and remanded to police custody.
According to investigations, the boy was in constant touch with Yusuf Al Hindi, also known as Shafi Armar, who, in turn, is in direct touch with ISIS chief Baghdadi, for the past two years. Yusuf had asked the boy to be in touch with Mudabbir Shaikh, the arrested Mumbra accused who is also the terrorist organisation’s main recruiter (Amir) in India. The boy was made deputy Amir i.e. second-in-command for recruitment. He even made two safe homes in Goa and another in Mumbai for ISIS recruits, and received R1.15 lakh from Mudabbir for it. The investigations also revealed that the Goa home had his name in the agreement.
Defence advocate claimed that the accused is just 16 years and eight months old, and therefore a minor. The ATS, on the other hand, claimed he was 20 years old and produced the election commission documents, which showed he was born in 1996. The defense, meanwhile, produced his SSC certificate of the accused and showed he is minor.
He told the judge in court: ‘Galti ho gayi saab.’ (I have made a mistake.)
The court has given 10 days time to both parties to submit age proofs, including documents of election commission, birth certificate and school leaving certificate.
For now, he has been sent to the Dongri remand home. The ATS has been allowed to interrogate him, but keeping the juvenile law in mind.
Family claims innocence
When SUNDAY mid-day spoke to his family, they claimed he was falsely implicated in the case.
His mother said, “My son is a bright student who studies in Class 12. When he was getting ready for college, the ATS came home and picked him up. We are financially stable and my child won’t take up such a job for money.”
But, the ATS officers believe the family knew about his changing behaviour. “The accused had even once tried to make a passport and told his father to go to Saudi.”
The next hearing in the case will be on February 11.
One of the three men deported from UAE on Thursday for being ISIS sympathisers is from Mumbra. Mohammad Farhan (25), a BCom graduate, is from Kausa, where he lived with his grandmother. Sources in the department said, “For the last three years, Farhan was working as recruiter for ISIS in an Abu Dhabi module and radicalised several people on social media.” The officials seized his laptop and other evidences. The other two were Adnan Hussain and Sheikh Azhar Al Islam from Karnataka and J&K.