NIA charge sheet cites witness accounts of how accused tried to radicalise youth, get them to pledge allegiance to ISIS
The NIA has named seven accused in its charge sheet. Representation Pic
The charge sheet filed recently by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) against seven members of a Pune ISIS module suggests that the group was involved in planning attacks on non-Muslims and had discussed various methods to eliminate them. According to the document, the accused aimed to establish Sharia law in the country by indoctrinating Muslim youth.
They purportedly propagated the notion that democracy is seen as 'haram' in Islam and that only ISIS adheres to Sharia law. Furthermore, the group allegedly called upon all Muslims to pledge support for ISIS. The charge sheet also highlights the group's use of the recent incidents of mob lynching of Muslims in India to radicalise and incite violence in Muslim youth, fostering a dangerous atmosphere of religious tension.
The charge sheet has several statements of crucial witnesses who revealed the planning of the ISIS members arrested by the NIA. A witness whose identity has been protected revealed to the NIA that he had joined some WhatsApp group where atrocities against Muslims were being discussed. He explained that he had met accused Simab Kazi who was conducting ‘E-dars’ online during the COVID lockdown.
In 2021, he was introduced to the accused Zulfikar Ali Barodawala and Abdul Kadeer Pathan and he started meeting them frequently as he was jobless at that time. The witness further alleged, “In our initial meetings, we had friendly and casual talks. However, gradually Zulfikar alias Lalabhai, Simab Kazi and Talha Khan started discussing topics like shirk, khalifah, jihad, Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS), bay’ah etc. Many times, they tried to convince other members including me to join ISIS and pledge allegiance to ISIS,” the witness said in his statement.
The witness further revealed that Zulfikar, Simab Kazi and Talha Khan repeatedly told the group that Sharia law is supreme over the Constitution of India and ISIS in Syria is following the same. The group was told they should join ISIS for the sake of an Islamic state in India. “They would say that voting in any form of election is haram in Islam. They always used to give examples of mob lynching of Muslims in India to incite us to do something violent against it. They would say that Islam does not allow women to go outside their houses. Hence, they were against the participation of Muslim women in CAA/NRC agitations.” the statement reads.
The witness further stated that Zulfikar would tell members of the group that they should kill kafirs (non-Muslims) and that they had all the means to do the same. “Hame kafiron ko marana hai aur usse anjam dene ke liye hamare paas sari cheeje hai. Aur sahi time ayega tab tumhe sab bata denge,” the witness said quoting statements made during the meetings where they were told to kill non-Muslims.
The witness explained that Zubair Shaikh, Abdul Kadeer Pathan and Abdullah Shaikh agreed with these ideologies but many in the group were not ready to accept them as they didn’t believe in violence.
The witness revealed that since he had been denying the pledge of allegiance to ISIS, the accused repeatedly insisted that he do so, after which he started avoiding them and left the WhatsApp group. He also revealed that the accused Zulfikar Ali, Abdul Kadeer Pathan, Simab Kazi, Zubair Shaikh and Abdullah Shaikh had already taken bay’ah for ISIS.
According to the witness, some of the statements made during the meetings are as follows…
>> India ka Constitution apne liye nahi hai, apana kanoon sirf Quran hai (The Indian Constitution is not for us, the only we follow is the Quran)
>> Jihad karana har Muslim ka farz hai (Jihad is the duty of every Muslim)
>> Koi bhi Muslim jamaat ya tanzeem sahi nahi hai, sirf ISIS sahi hai, kyonki woh Khalifah ke liye ladate hai, Khalifah kayam karane ke liye mehnat karate hai… Khalifah yaane ki puri duniya par Shariat ka amal hona (No other Islamic council or organisation is right except for ISIS as they work for the caliphate and put in efforts to expand its rule… and the caliphate means to bring the entire world under Sharia law)
>> Tirange jhande ko salami dena ya national anthem ke wagt khade rehna shirk hai, kyonki woh Islam se bada nahi hai (Saluting the Indian tricolour or standing when the national anthem is being recited is haram as they are not greater than Islam)
>> Shia aur dargah jaane wale musalmaan qafir hai aur unke khilaf bhi jihad kar sakte hain (Shias and other Muslims who visit dargahs are infidels and jihad can be carried out against them as well)