Alleged Islamic State (IS) recruit Arif Majeed has shared the names of two more Indians, who had initially agreed to join Majeed and his three other friends to fight alongside the militant organisation in Iraq, but developed cold feet and withdrew, The Hindu has learnt.
A senior police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “While one hails from Mumbai, the other is an NRI settled in a Gulf country.
“Aarif got in touch with the Mumbai youth through a common friend and with the NRI over the internet,” he adds. The NIA is now on the lookout for this Mumbai resident.
The four young men identified as Aarif Majeed, Fahad Shaikh, Amaan Tandel and Saheem Tanki hail from Kalyan in Thane district 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 private taxi to Mosul. Since then, they had been missing and are believed to have joined the militant group.
All of them have been booked under section 125 of the IPC (waging war with an Asiatic ally) and certain sections (16, 18, 20) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Meanwhile, sources claim that Majeed said that menial work assigned to him by the IS and pressure from his family pushed him to return. He does not regret participating in the ‘jihad’ and maintains that he was fighting for a larger cause.
“He claims that after getting trained in handling of arms and ammunition and basic combat training, he thought he would get a chance to fight the war, but he was made to do menial jobs like cleaning toilets or window panes and even given mason’s work. He started getting frustrated and his mother pleaded him to return. He then eventually decided to return but he feels returning to India was a mistake,” the source adds
The sources add that Majeed now claims that he never participated in the war. But the investigators are taking his claim with a pinch of salt and suspect it could be a diversionary tactic.
“The case against him is that of waging war against an Asian allied country. Therefore, this could be ploy. Once he told us that he got a bullet injury while undergoing training. Later, he claimed he got shot while cleaning window panes. It is hard to believe that he sustained bullet injuries but did not directly participate in the war,” he added.
However, the agency, taking a sympathetic view, has allowed his family to meet him regularly. He is also allowed home food and would be provided with a counsellor to deal with his ordeal.