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IS suspect held in Bhopal was in touch with jihadi group in Syria

indore Updated: Feb 03, 2016 18:00 IST
HT correspondent
Madhya Pradesh

IS suspect Azhar Iqbal being produced at the district court in Bhopal on Tuesday.(Praveen Bajpai/ HT photo)

A court in Bhopal on Tuesday granted National Investigation Agency (NIA) two-day transit remand of a suspected Islamic State operative arrested from Teela Jamalpura in Putlighar area last evening. Azhar Iqbal, 24, was arrested by the NIA with the help of city crime branch officials.

The accused was allegedly hiding at his uncle’s house in Putlighar area of Bhopal after a case registered against him and 14 other suspected IS agents in Delhi for indulging in anti-national activities. The other 14 IS suspects have already been nabbed by the NIA and Iqbal was the last one to be arrested in the case, an official source said.

According to NIA sources, the suspected IS operative allegedly has links with the Islamic State’s regional wing, the Janood-ul-Khalifa-e-Hind (or army of Caliph of India) and was planning to carry out attacks across India.

He was allegedly in constant touch with the IS members in Syria through social networking platforms and instant messaging applications, NIA sources said.

Iqbal was arrested under Sections 18, 18(a), 38, 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and section 125 of Indian Penal Code and presented before a local court on Tuesday morning, which sent him to transit remand under the NIA till February 4.

The three-member NIA team will take the suspect to Delhi on Tuesday evening, where they will present him before Patiala House court. “The NIA will take the suspect to Delhi in the evening, where they will interrogate him to know about his plans and other acquaintances. City crime branch officials are also assisting the NIA in the investigation,” said assistant superintendent of police (crime), Shailendra Chauhan.

A native of Barkheda village in Raisen, Iqbal was pursuing Islamic studies from Darul Uloom Deoband, in Saharanpur. He allegedly fled from there and took refuge at his uncle’s house in Putlighar area after the case was registered against him in December last year.