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Mumbai youth, accused of joining IS, reported dead in Iraq bombing

From left: Aarif Majid ,Saheem Tanki and Amaan Tandel.  

Aarif Majid , one of the four Muslim boys who went missing in May and was believed to have travelled to Iraq to joined the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ( ISIS) has allegedly died in a recent bombing in Iraq, the police said.



The police say the news was communicated by his friend Saheem Tanki , who had also travelled with him to Iraq.



Around 6.15pm, on Tuesday Saheem made a call to his brother, Farhan on using Voice over Internet Protocol ( VOIP). He informed him about Aarif's death in a bombing in Raqa. In turn the Tankis informed Dr. Ejaz Majid , Aarif's father.



The four young men identified as Aarif Majid, Fahad Shaikh, Amaan Tandel and Saheem Tanki hail from Kalyan district in Thane on the outskirts of Mumbai. On 25th May, they left along with 40 others by an Etihad flight to Baghdad on a pilgrimage. On May 31st, they called for a private taxi which dropped them at Mosul. Then they went missing.



A senior police officer told The Hindu that a dejected and scared Saheem expressed his desire to return to India. And that he pleaded with his family members to help him. In the phone call Saheem also clarified that he was not working for ISIS but a local hospital in Raqa. "The situation was getting worse by the day and he wanted to return but it was getting difficult to do so," the official said.



"He is scared for his life and asked his family for forgiveness for having travelled to Iraq without their knowledge," he said. "We will soon record the statements of the family members who had received the call. We need to verify whether the news is indeed true," Deputy Commissioner of Police , Mr. Sanjay Jadhav told The Hindu.



"There are some reports that the photographs of Aarif brandishing a weapon has been published on a website but we have not been able to find any such picture," a senior police officer from the Thane police told The Hindu. Aarif family members refused to speak to the press on Wednesday.



Meanwhile at Sarvodya residency , where Aarif's family stays, a ghaibana namaaz was performed on Wednesday. A ghaibana is a special namaaz performed so that the soul of the deceased who has died at a different location rest in peace

Dr. Tanwir Sheikh also says his son his innocent. Meanwhile the father of Fahad Sheikh who is amongst the four boys accused of joining ISIS say his son also wants to return and claims he has not joined ISIS.



Speaking to The Hindu, Dr. Tanwir Sheikh said that his son also had expressed the desire to return and has promised to come back soon. He also has assured the family members that he was not joined ISIS and had gone to Iraq as it offered a better job prospect.

"He claimed he got a job through a website and had financed his own travel through the money he has got from his relatives when he cleared his mechanical engineer course early this year. He has called us around four times so far and he only speaks to his mother and throughout the conversation they both keeps on weeping. He claims he is paid Rs 52,000, a salary that he won't be able to earn in India . He says he would return once he had earned enough ," Dr. Tanwir Sheikh. " But he has not called for a fortnight and we are scared for his life. His mother has not eaten or slept well since he gone to Iraq, " Dr. Sheikh added.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 8:38:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/mumbai-youth-accused-of-joining-is-reported-dead-in-iraq-bombing/article6357922.ece

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