3 ‘on way’ to join IS held at airport

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday detained three Hyderabad-based young men in Nagpur for allegedly trying to leave the country with the intention of joining the terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS).

ATS officials said the three were held after the Telangana police informed them that they would try to board a flight to Srinagar from Nagpur.

“We were informed by our counterparts in Telangana that the trio had been missing since Thursday and that investigations so far had indicated that they would be at the Nagpur airport on Saturday morning, to try to board a flight to Srinagar. We were asked to detain them till the Telangana police reached Nagpur,” said an officer with the Maharashtra ATS.

The information was relayed to the Nagpur unit of the ATS, and several teams of ATS personnel were deployed in plainclothes at the airport. The Telangana police had already sent pictures of the three to the ATS.

“The trio reached the airport at around 5 a.m. and were spotted by one of our teams. As soon as we were sure that they were the boys we were looking for, we took them into our custody at around 5.30 a.m.,” the officer added.

They were later handed over to a Telangana police team.

Of the three, two are engineering students and were among the four caught in August, 2014 in Kolkata, while attempting to cross into Bangladesh to join the IS.

Telangana not likely to drop counselling policy

The Telangana police are not likely to initiate any criminal action against the three Hyderabad youths held in Nagpur on Saturday or change its policy of counselling the ‘radicalised youth.’

The three were reportedly planning to join the terrorist outfit, the Islamic State.

“First let police find what motivated the youth to move towards the terror group and ascertain to what extent they were involved in the plans of joining the terror plots,” Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma told The Hindu.

In reply to another question, Mr. Sharma said legally there was no offence.

The youngsters would be questioned before any decision is taken on whether they were involved with any serious act of sedition or anti-national activities, the DGP said.

Though 16 youngsters from Telangana were caught in the past two years while trying to join the IS, no case has been registered against them.

But the detention of two students for the second time has raised new questions about the effectiveness of the counselling policy of the Telangana police.

“We will question the three, who will be brought here by Sunday morning, to ascertain their motives and then think of further action,” a top official of the Hyderabad Special Branch said.

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 9:23:04 PM |

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