All four youths who left for Iraq in May allegedly to fight alongside the militant organisation Islamic State have been booked under Section 125 of the IPC (waging war with an Asian ally) and Sections 16, 18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). One of them, Aarif Majeed, was brought back here on Friday and was arrested. He has been remanded in police custody till December 8.
The National Investigation Agency told the court on Saturday that the three still abroad were “wanted accused” in the case. The three are reportedly holed up in southern Iraq. This means if they return, they too would be arrested.
The IPC section attracts a maximum punishment of life term and Section 18 of the UAPA, five years of imprisonment or life term.
“The four transpired to commit a terrorist act and wanted to go to Iraq to join the IS. Their association was unlawful and they were promoting terror activities,” Public Prosecutor Geeta Godambe told the special NIA court in Mumbai on Friday.
The agency told the court that the youth travelled to Iraq to join the terroriss group. It said they underwent basic training for 15 days and later a more sophisticated training for handling of firearms and assault weapons such as AK-47.
“Aarif participated in terror activities in Iraq and Syria and had also sustained two bullet injuries,” Ms. Godambe added.
While the intelligence agencies so far were not certain that the youth had indeed joined the terror outfit, their families had vehemently denied their children being part of any terror activities.
Aarif, Fahad Shaikh, Amaan Tandel and Saheem Tanki hail from Kalyan district in Thane on the outskirts of Mumbai.
On May 25, they left along with 40 others by an Etihad flight to Baghdad on a pilgrimage. On May 31, they took a taxi to Mosul. Since then, they had been missing and are believed to have joined the militant group.
On August 26, Saheem called up his brother informing him about Aarif’s death in a recent bombing.
But Aarif’s father recently received a call from his son saying he was alive and safe and currently hiding in Turkey and expressed his desire to return.
‘IS recruit’ to undergo tests
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) plans to subject Aarif Majeed, who returned home on Friday after leaving with three other young men for Iraq in May allegedly to fight alongside the militant organisation Islamic State, to scientific tests, The Hindu has learnt.
The agency arrested him on terror charges upon his return from Turkey on Friday.
Sources in the agency told The Hindu that the move was to ascertain the claims made by Aarif as he appeared to be “highly indoctrinated” and was not cooperating in the probe.
“He is inconsistent in his statements and we need some concrete leads. For instance, we need to find out if there was any local hand that radicalised them and facilitated their travel to Iraq. We have, therefore, decided to subject him to various tests, including narco-analysis and lie detector,” a source said.