A Mumbai court on Sunday sent Mohammed Haneef, a cleric arrested on charges of indoctrinating and radicalising Muslim youths in Kerala and Mumbai and prompting them to join the Islamic State (IS), to police custody till August 20.
The crime branch of the Mumbai Police produced him in a city court on Sunday after he was arrested from Peringathoor area of Kannur district of Kerala on Saturday night. Police suspect Haneef is an important link to unearth the IS network in India.
A team of Mumbai Police led by senior police inspector Vinayak Ghorpade from the crime branch’s intelligence unit carried out the arrest.
The 26-year-old cleric hails from Kambalakkad in Kerala’s Wayanad district.
Haneef was among those booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by Mumbai Police on August 6 following a complaint by Abdul Majeed Kadar Khan, the father of Ashfaque, one of the 21 youths from Kerala who have gone missing and have allegedly joined the IS after being indoctrinated.
Khan had accused Haneef of indoctrinating his son.
Arshi Qureshi, guest relationship manager of Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation and Rizwan Khan, a volunteer with Al-Birr Foundation, who were arrested last month by the Kerala police have also been booked in the same case.
One more accused in the case, Rashid Abdulla is believed to have left the country and joined the IS.
In his complaint, Khan also claimed that Ashfaque had been meeting Haneef at his native in Kasaragod district in Kerala where the indoctrination took place.
Haneef allegedly introduced Ashfaque to Qureshi and Rizwan Khan and the trio met several times in Kerala and also in Mumbai at the IRF office in Dongri.
The Kerala Police is also probing a similar case of indoctrination filed by the brother of one Merin alias Mariyam, who is among the missing 21 youths.