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ISIS module case: Court sends 10 arrested to 12-day NIA custody

NIA had sought 15-day custodial interrogation of the accused who were arrested from various parts of the national capital and Uttar Pradesh

Visuals from Amroha where NIA is conducting searches in connection with a new ISIS module | Photo: ANI
Visuals from Amroha where NIA is conducting searches in connection with a new ISIS module | Photo: ANI

A Delhi court on Thursday allowed 12-day custodial interrogation by NIA of 10 people arrested on the suspicion of being members of an ISIS-inspired group who were allegedly planning suicide attacks and serial blasts, targeting politicians as also government installations, in Delhi and other parts of north India.


The court also permitted the agency to handcuff them while taking them to various places while carrying out the investigation for unearthing larger conspiracy and their alleged involvement in terror activities.

NIA had sought 15-day custodial interrogation of the accused contending that the government has received credible information that a group of pro-IS individuals have formed a terrorist gang which was allegedly engaged in preparation of terror attacks to wage war against the state.

The agency claimed there was information that the accused were also planning to target political leaders, members of security forces and others.

The accused were brought to the Patiala House Court complex in tight security and covered faces.

They were produced before Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey, who carried out in-camera proceedings and permitted the probe agency to quiz them for 12 days.

They would be produced before the court again on January 8.

According to a lawyer, who was privy to the in-camera proceedings, National Investigation Agency (NIA) said the group is inspired by ideology of the Islamic States and custody of the accused was required to unearth the larger terror conspiracy and terror planning that they were doing.

NIA claimed that dangerous explosives, arms, ammunition and other incriminating material were seized from the possession of the accused.

The agency's plea was opposed by advocate M S Khan, appearing for all the accused, on the ground that NIA has already unearthed everything involving the case as they had held a press conference on Wednesday to make public the outcome of their investigation.

He said the agency has not disclosed the individual roles of the accused and the material recovered from each of them and NIA has vaguely made the allegations.

Khan added NIA has not disclosed who was the foreign-based handler involved in the case and to what extend the accused were instrumental in it.

The accused were arrested from various parts of the national capital and Uttar Pradesh after searches carried out on Wednesday.

Those arrested are Mufti Mohammed Suhail alias Hazrath (29), Anas Yunus (24), Rashid Zafar Raq alias Zafar (23), Saeed alias Sayeed (28), Saeed's brother Raees Ahmad, Zubair Malik (20), Zubair's brother Zaid (22), Saqib Iftekar (26), Mohammed Irshad (in late 20s) and Mohammed Azam (35).

After the proceedings, the judge allowed family members of seven of the accused -- Suhail, Yunus, Raq, Azam, Saqib, Zaid and Zubaid -- to have a meeting with them in the court room after proper frisking by security officials. However, Raq's family member could not meet him due to lack of original identity proof while all others produced the documents.

The NIA alleged that the group was conspiring and preparing to target places of importance in and around Delhi and Suhail, a resident of Jafrabad in north east Delhi, was instrumental in forming this pro-IS module along with his other associates who have mobilised funds.

According to the lawyer, the agency claimed that the accused had procured weapons, ammunition and explosive materials to prepare IEDs, rockets and suicide vests.

NIA alleged that the accused had conducted recce of the places they were targeting, and planned violent explosions by assemblage of explosive devices, fidayeen terror attacks and mass terror in and around the national capital, he said.

The accused were arrested after NIA carried out searches, in coordination with Special cell of Delhi Police and Anti-Terrorism Squad of Uttar Pradesh Police, at six places in Jafrabad, Seelampur in Delhi, and 11 places in Uttar Pradesh -- six in Amroha, two in Lucknow, two in Hapur and two in Meerut.

The searches and the arrests came a month before the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

According to NIA, a locally-made rocket launcher, material for suicide vests, 12 pistols, several rounds of live ammunition and 112 alarm clocks to be used as timers were recovered from the searches.

The agency also said it recovered 25 kg of explosive material -- Potassium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate and Sulphur.

The group allegedly had also purchased remote control cars and wireless doorbells to use their circuits in assembling remote controlled improvised explosive devices.

Besides, the NIA also recovered steel containers, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, 3 laptops, knife, sword, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-related literature and Rs 7.5 lakh cash during the searches.

The probe agency had initially rounded up 16 persons of the group 'Harkat ul Harb e Islam', which loosely translates into war for the cause of Islam.

Of the 16 detained, 10 were later arrested - five from Amroha, in UP and five from Seelampur and Jafrabad localities in north-east Delhi, the agency had said.