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NIA arrests one more Coimbatore resident in Islamic State-related case

The National Investigation Agency office at New Delhi’s Lodhi Road. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

The NIA arrested another Coimbatore resident, Sheik Hidayathullah, 38, in an IS-related case linked to Easter terror attacks in Sri Lanka.

Earlier his associate, Muhammed Azharudheen, a Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, Sri Lanka’s Easter terror attack mastermind, was arrested by the NIA.

Hidayathullah was detained along with four others two days ago. The accused is also a former member of the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), an NIA official said.

The NIA had registered a case on May 30 against six accused for propagating IS ideology on social media with the intention of recruiting vulnerable youth for carrying out terror attacks in South India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

“It was also learnt that some of the accused and their associates were in touch with Zahran Hashim and his associates, over social media, with the intention of furthering the objectives of IS,” an NIA statement said.

On June 12, the NIA conducted searches at seven locations in Coimbatore and incriminating material including books and documents were seized from the houses and work places of the accused, the NIA said.

“Accused persons were questioned regarding the incriminating materials recovered during searches and the content of their social media accounts. Based on the facts revealed hitherto regarding the pro-IS activities of accused Shiek Hidayathullah Y, he has been arrested. Scrutiny of the documents from his house, has revealed that accused has remained associated with proscribed terrorist organisation SIMI as well,” NIA said.

He will be produced before the Special Court for NIA cases in Ernakulam seeking his custody.

Three detained

The Coimbatore City police on Friday detained three persons for propagating IS ideology on social media platforms and allegedly planning to conduct terror attacks in the city. According to police sources, the city police initiated the process for remanding them in judicial custody.

On Thursday, Mohammed Hussain from Ukkadam, A. Shajahan from Anbu Nagar and Sheik Safiullah from Karumbukkadai were booked under Sections 18, 38 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, said a release issued by the police.

“They were supporters of Zahran Hashim and praised the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka. They have conspired to stage terror attacks in Coimbatore,” the release said, adding that a case was registered in the Podanur station.

The police searched the houses of the trio and seized mobile phones, SIM cards, hard disks, documents of bank accounts, pen drives, memory cards and other incriminating documents.

On Friday, various Islamic outfits met Sumit Sharan, Commissioner of Police, and submitted a petition alleging that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was targeting Muslims.

According to a release, various Jamaat and Islamic outfits, including Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, Popular Front of India and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, met with the Commissioner.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 12:04:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nia-arrests-one-more-coimbatore-resident-in-islamic-state-related-case/article27944748.ece

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