In a significant breakthrough, the Ramanathapuram police have arrested a Tirupur-based Imam, who had procured T-shirts and printed slogans in support of the Islamic State in Iraq and al Shams (ISIS) before sending them to the Muslim youths in Thondi, who had posed for a group photograph sporting the T-shirts in front of a mosque recently. >The Hindu>was the first to report this development which has now gone beyond a flutter.
After the arrest on Monday night of M. Abdul Rahman (24) and his accomplice Rilvan, who organised the photo session and had ordered the T-shirts, a special police team from the district visited the hosiery town of Tirupur and detained S.Faizur Rahman (27) who procured the T-shirts and supplied them to Rilvan after printing a modified ISIS emblem on them.
“The special police team brought Faizur Rahman here on Wednesday and he was arrested for arranging the T-shirts for the youths,” the District Superintendent of Police N.M. Mylvahanan told The Hindu .
As he had arranged the T-shirts with full knowledge after receiving the designs and money from Abdul Rahman and Rilvan, he was also arrested under section 7 (1) (a) of the Criminal law Amendment Act (doing illegal activities and induce others to engage in unlawful activities) read with section 120 (b) of Indian Penal Code (criminal conspiracy), the SP said. He was produced before a magistrate court and remanded in judicial custody.
Faizur Rahman, who was working as an Imam in a local mosque in Tirupur, had despatched the T-shirts to Rilvan in Chennai, who, in turn, sent them to Thondi. After police launched a drive against those who posed for the photograph sporting the T-shirts, father of Abdul Rahman had destroyed about 50 T-shirts by burning them, while police seized 25 T-shirts. Two T-shirts were produced before the court, when the duo were produced for remand on Monday night, police said.
Meanwhile, police have initiated steps to impound the passport of Abdul Rahman, who used to visit Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sri Lanka on tourist visa in connection with his textiles, leather and electronic goods business. As they could not seize the passport, police sent a copy of the passport to the Passport Officer and requested him to impound it, the SP said. The passport was being impounded to prevent Abdul Rahman from fleeing abroad in the event of his release on bail, the SP said.
Mr. Mylvahanan said Faizur Rahman had some connections at Devipattinam, a Muslim-dominated coastal town in the district. The main accused was also well acquainted with the two others arrested in the case so far. The incident came to light last week after a group photograph of the youths went viral on social media when one of them posted the picture on Facebook on Id-ul-Fitr, the culmination of the holy month of Ramzan.
Initially, it was believed that the Muslim youths wanted to only express their gratitude to the ISIS for releasing Indian nurses stranded in Iraq.
However, a "deeper investigation" revealed that the main accused were active supporters of the ISIS and allegedly trying to brainwash Muslim youths for the cause that the ISIS was fighting for.