Police have picked up three youth from Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur district for their alleged links with an arrested engineer who was running a pro-Islamic State Twitter account, intelligence officials said on Thursday.
Sleuths of the Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and MP Counter-terrorist Group (CTG) picked up the trio late on Wednesday night from their residences in Patel mohalla of Rampur locality, around 370 km east from Bhopal.
Mehdi Masoor Biswas, a Bengaluru-based IT professional who was running a pro-IS Twitter account with the handle @ShamiWitness, was arrested a week ago on charges of waging war against India.
State intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity that the trio were among 17,700 followers of Biswas’ Twitter account and were in frequent touch with him through e-mail and on social media.
The three were rounded up following inputs from Bengaluru police. However, Jabalpur police are not aware about the detention.
The age group of the detained MP youth could not be ascertained.
The officials said that Bengaluru police had seized a laptop from the possession of Biswas and during scanning of his e-mail account, it was found that nearly 50 emails were sent from MP’s Jabalpur district.
Investigations also revealed that these emails were sent from three different IP addresses. Subsequently, Bengaluru police shared the information with MP police, the sources added.
The trio were said to be in frequent touch with Biswas, 24, and used to re-tweet his Twitter posts.
They are being interrogated by counter-terror officials to ascertain if they were anything to do with IS.
The officers further said that it was yet to be verified whether the mails they had shared with Biswas were objectionable or not.
Reports suggest that Biswas, hailing from Kolkata, was just a thrill-seeker with no direct links to the terror group.
The officers also indicated that more people may be picked up from different parts of state soon, for interrogation.
The additional director general of MP ATS Sanjeev Shami could not be contacted for comments.
On Tuesday, the Centre declared a ban on Islamic State which is suspected to be holding 39 Indian construction workers as hostage.