The National Investigation Agency on Thursday formally charged an employee of controversial TV evangelist Zakir Naik’s now banned outfit Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) for radicalising a Kerala boy to join the Islamic State (IS).
Arshi Qureshi was a guest relations manager at the IRF when he came on the radar of Mumbai Police for indoctrinating Ashfak Majeed who used to visit him quite often. Majeed’s father approached the Mumbai Police after his son went missing in August last year.
The case was later transferred to the NIA given its international ramifications.
“The case relates to the indoctrination of… Ashfak Majeed, and his associates, into extreme Jihadi ideology by a group of like-minded youths from Kasaragod district of Kerala and some members of the Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai, who motivated and radicalised Ashfak and his associates to join the IS,” the NIA said in a statement.
The NIA charged that Qureshi used to give lectures on violent Jihad to the missing youth. He also financed the travel and stay of some of the missing youths.
“Investigation by the NIA has established that the arrested accused Arshi Qureshi was involved in unlawful activities and in spreading hatred against India and was furthering the activities of the IS,” it added.
Besides Qureshi, the NIA also charged a Kerala man, Abdul Rashid Abdulla, the alleged ringleader of 21 men and women from the state who joined the IS in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, in the case. Abdulla is now suspected to be in the IS-held territory in Afghanistan.
This is the second chargesheet against Abdulla by the NIA.
Earlier, he was charged along with Yasmeen Mohammed Zahid, originally from Bihar, who was caught while taking a flight to Kabul from the Indira Gandhi International Airport with her minor child. She intended to join the IS there.
“The wanted accused, Abdul Rashid Abdulla, was the main conspirator behind the offence of motivating Ashfak and a number of other youths from Kasargod and Palakkad districts of Kerala to join the IS,” the agency said.