Syria fails to provide details of Indian 'jihadis' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Syria fails to provide details of Indian 'jihadis'

Indian intelligence seeking details of Indian nationals involved in the Syrian war as claimed by Syrian Ambassador to India, Riad Abbas, has failed to evoke any response. Abbas had gone on record saying that pan-Islamic jihadists from India were fighting the Assad regime. Shishir Gupta reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2013 02:33 IST
Shishir Gupta
Syrian war

Indian intelligence seeking details of Indian nationals involved in the Syrian war as claimed by Syrian ambassador to India, Riad Abbas, has failed to evoke any response. Abbas had gone on record saying that pan-Islamic jihadists from India were fighting the Assad regime.

Although Indian intelligence confirmed that they did not know of any Indian jihadists in Syria, they were checking out the remote possibility of an Indian national, based in Middle-east, getting involved in fight for Damascus.

Taking serious umbrage to ambassador Abbas' statement, South Block said that there have been two cases of British nationals of Indian origin involved in the Syrian war.

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The first one relates to Dr Shah Abbas Khan, a British doctor of Indian origin, who entered Syria illegally through Turkey and is currently under the detention of Syrian authorities.

"Abbas' statement is most irresponsible and mischievous as we have checked our records and found no Indian national involved in jihad in Syria. We are cross-checking facts before we formally take up the matter with Syrian ambassador," said a senior official.

Sources said that it was the mother of Dr Abbas Khan who had been calling up various authorities including the Indian government. It is in this context, officials say, that she may have contacted the local Syrian embassy in New Delhi.

However, as Dr Abbas Khan is not an Indian national, New Delhi left it on London to take the matter up with Assad regime.

The other case pertains to Dr Isa Abdur Rahman, another British doctor of Indian origin, who travelled to rebel held area in northern Syria and was killed in May this year. Again, the matter is for London to take up as Dr Rahman held a British passport.

Abbas's statement came at a time when Salafi strain of Islam is desperately trying to make inroads into India.