Bengaluru police racing to charge-sheet youngster who operated pro-IS Twitter handle

  • Sudiopto Mondal, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
  • Updated: May 26, 2015 16:11 IST

The city police are racing against time to complete their charge-sheet against Mehdi Masroor Biswas, who was arrested in Bengaluru last December on the charge of operating the pro-Islamic State Twitter handler @shamiwitness.

Sources in the police said that under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,UAPA, which was used to book Biswas, the accused is entitled to bail if authorities do not complete investigations and file charges within 180 days.

"We have around 15 days before the 180-day deadline expires," a source told Hindustan Times.

The Centre has granted permission to city police to press charges of international terrorism against Biswas under the UAPA for allegedly running the pro-IS Twitter handle.

The Karnataka government, however, is yet to give similar permission to the police.

Biswas, 24, was arrested after Britain’s Channel 4 named him as the person behind @shamiwitness. He was working as an executive in a multinational company at the time of his arrest.

He was originally booked under provisions of the Indian Penal Code for “waging war” against the state and under the UAPA for supporting a terror group.

Home ministry sources said there has been no delay from the Karnataka government, but the team working on Biswas' prosecution is getting impatient.

"If the state government's clearance comes in the next two days, we will be able to wrap up and submit the charge-sheet on time. If we delay, he might get bail," said a police source.

Media reports suggested that information provided by Twitter on accounts linked to the IS and its supporters will be included in the charge-sheet against Biswas.


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