Cops said Amir Ullah Shaikh was speaking to suspects from Nepal for past two years; he destroyed three mobile phones before being caught
The graffiti which was later erased by the police. Pics/Rajesh Gupta
The 34-year-old man, Amir Ullah Shaikh, arrested by Navi Mumbai police early this month for the graffiti mentioning ISIS, its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafeez Saeed in Uran, was in touch with terror suspects in Nepal for the past two years, police told mid-day.
A school dropout, Shaikh shifted to Navi Mumbai in 2005, from his hometown Siddhartha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh. He works as a forklift truck driver at the Container Freight Station in Navi Mumbai. He stays with his wife, children, three brothers and their wives in Khopta village.
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"Shaikh's Call Data Records (CDR) revealed that he was in touch with a few people suspected to be terrorists, in Nepal for the past two years. We are yet to verify the identity of those Nepal-based numbers. Considering the sensitivity of the matter, we are probing it from all angles including terror," said Jagdish Kulkarni, senior inspector of Uran police station.
The Uran police further added, "During interrogation Shaikh told us that he possessed three cellphones, including two android. He smashed all three cellphones before getting caught. We recovered one smashed android phone with the SIM card from his rented house in Khopta village and sent it to the Directorate of State Forensic Laboratory (DSFL) for analysis. We are looking for the other phones."
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Shaikh told Uran police that he made the graffiti on the 17th day of Ramadan. He was produced before the Uran court on Wednesday and Judge Pritam Patil extended his police remand till June 17. Senior Inspector Kulkarni told the court, "The graffiti was made on the pillar of the Khoptea bridge connecting JNPT and the coastal town. We saw a small boat there and a small boat has been mentioned in the graffiti. We have to probe if the graffiti was a message for someone sailing in the small boat."
Shaikh's family members have been telling the cops that he has bi-polar disorder. Early media reports had said he was mentally challenged. "But no documents related to his mental illness have been tabled so far. Also, he has been behaving normally sans medicine in the past seven days of police custody," said a police officer.
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Inputs by Faizan Khan
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