Six months after arrest, charge sheet filed against Mehdi

Updated - June 02, 2015 05:55 am IST

Published - June 02, 2015 12:00 am IST - Bengaluru:

Nearly six months after Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a suspected handler of the pro-Islamic State Twitter account, was arrested on the charge of sedition, waging war and supporting terrorist organisation, the Bengaluru police on Monday filed a charge sheet against him in the Metropolitan Magistrate Court here.

Mehdi has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The UAPA has been slapped against him after the Union government banned the ISIS under this Act, which means that any association with that group is a punishable offence.

Joint Commissioner of Police M. Chandrashekhar said Mehdi has been charged under the IPC, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and IT Act.

He has been charged with unlawful activities, conspiracy, supporting terrorist organisation, waging war, sedition, and promoting enmity, he said.

The charge sheet — containing tweets and list of followers that he was communicating to glorify the terror act and spread messages to wage war along with ISIS against Syria and Iraq — runs into 36,986 pages. “We could not find any one person whom Mehdi was in touch with, but we have ample proof that he had contacts with many fighters in Syria,” he said. He was confident of prosecution stating that they have a very strong case in hand and also added that they had found videos, audio message6s and pictures relating to the ISIS on his laptop.

The 24-year-old hails from West Bengal and was employed in ITC at the time of his arrest from his apartment in Jalahalli on December 13, 2014. The police have recovered 1.22 lakh twitter messages from his account and also accounts of his 18,000 followers.

Meanwhile, another official said, “We have sought sanction for prosecution since we are handling the case related to the outfit, which has been banned under the UAPA. The MHA approved only after a panel comprising retired High Court judges had reviewed all the charges.”

The police sources also said that Mehdi had appreciated the efforts of jihadis in Kashmir as freedom fighters and had termed them as “martyrs” in an attempt to glorify them. The officer termed the case as the most difficult charge sheet to file since the work was laborious. “The team had to analyse over one lakh plus tweets and his laptop and mobile phone.”

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