Business Standard

'Obsessed' with UK journo, sister of Indian-origin ISIS suspect gets restraining order for stalking


Press Trust of India London
The 32-year-old sister of an Indian-origin Islamic State suspect was on Wednesday given a restraining order preventing her from any contact with a UK journalist after a court was told that she had become "obsessed" with him following an interview.
Konika Dhar, the sister of British Muslim convert Siddhartha Dhar who was dubbed "Jihadi Sid" by the UK media after featuring in ISIS videos, was said to have bombarded Sunday Times security correspondent Richard Kerbaj and his ex-girlfriend with inappropriate messages after he interviewed her for a documentary about relatives of ISIS terrorists in 2015.
"He made it clear to her the messages were inappropriate," the prosecutor told Camberwell Green Magistrates Court which imposed the restraining order on Dhar on Wednesday.
The north London-based woman has also been given a 12-month community order, which must include a mental rehab process, as well as a legal costs payment order for 200 pounds (USD 259).
The court was told that Kerbaj was producing documentaries about the families of Islamist terrorists and approached a number of UK families, including Dhar.
They met several times in a professional capacity but the interaction turned problematic when she started sending the journalist strange messages and emojis. She went on to target his ex-girlfriend, also a journalist, with troubling messages and was reported to the police for harassment. After a brief hiatus, Dhar began messaging them again in December 2018.
The Sunday Times then applied for a UK High Court restraining order against Dhar, prohibiting contact with the two journalists and their friends and family and going within 200 metres of their south London headquarters.
The court was told that she had become "obsessed" with the UK journalist.
Dhar's lawyer told the court that she was suffering from a quite serious "delusions" at the time and admitted to the charge of harassment between 2016 and April 2019 but was now on recovery.
Her brother Siddhartha hit the headlines in the UK in 2015 after online videos emerged of him propagating ISIS messages.
Also known as Abu Rumaysah, Siddhartha skipped bail and fled Britain in 2014 with his wife and their four children to join ISIS in Syria.
Born a Hindu, the 35-year-old ran a business renting out bouncy castles in London before converting to Islam and joining the radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun.
His sister gave evidence before the UK Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee in January 2016 to express her shock and grief at her brother's actions and said that she believed he had been "brainwashed".

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 7:20 PM IST

Explore News