Nine quizzed by Maharashtra ATS for possible links to Islamic State

Inquiries indicate that the suspects were involved in anti-state activities, says a senior ATS officer.

January 23, 2019 12:12 am | Updated 05:33 pm IST - Mumbai

An apartment complex in Mumbra, where a suspect believed to be  part of a sleeper cell, was picked by the Maharashtra ATS on Tuesday.

An apartment complex in Mumbra, where a suspect believed to be part of a sleeper cell, was picked by the Maharashtra ATS on Tuesday.

The Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) is interrogating nine peole for their possible links to the Islamic State. They were detained over the last three days after raids in Mumbra and Aurangabad for their alleged links to the Popular Front of India (PFI), which is based in Kerala.

Sources in the ATS said one suspect, who was on his way from Mumbra to Aurangabad, was picked up on Sunday evening and his interrogation led to the detention of eight more suspects. They all seemed to be part of two sleeper cells in Mumbra and Aurangabad.

A senior ATS officer said, “Inquiries indicate the suspects were involved in anti-State activities. Searches are on at several locations in the State to collect evidence on their activities and affiliations. We are sifting through the information and it is early to comment on their affiliations.”

Arms seizure from PFI centres

The PFI has been in the news for its pro-Palestinian stance. The Kerala government had moved the Madras High Court recently seeking a ban on the party.

In April 2013, a large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered in raids at PFI centres. Several PFI members are alleged to be former members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

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