Cops to record statements of friends of Kerala ISIS suspect Ashfaque

  • Saurabh M Joshi and Manish K Pathak, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 11, 2016 23:41 IST

The crime branch will record statements of friends of Ashfaque, one of the 21 youngsters who went missing from Kerala, in Kasaragod district and Mumbai to find out more about his activities in the past couple of years, when he is suspected to have been persuaded to join the terror outfit, Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).

Investigators said Ashfaque was in touch with Haneef, a maulavi, and Islamic Research Foundation’s (IRF) Arshi Qureshi for the past two years. Ashfaque’s father, Abdul Majeed Kadar Khan, 60, the complainant in the case filed with the Nagpada police, said his son’s behaviour changed and he became extremely religious two years ago.

“Khan asked his friends to keep a tab on Ashfaque. He then learnt his son was being radicalised. His friend, Abdul Rashid Abdulla, too, was radicalised. Abdul and Ashfaque left to join the ISIS. His friends may know a lot more that could help the investigation,” said a crime branch officer, on condition of anonymity.

Khan, who runs a lodge in Mumbai, told police Ashfaque was in Mumbai for three years to complete his bachelors in commerce. During this time, he met Qureshi and Rizwan Khan.

“We will inquire with the school staff and students to get more information in connection with the case,” said a source in the crime branch.

While Navi Mumbai resident Qureshi and Kalyan resident Rizwan Khan are in the custody of Kerala police, cops are yet to find Haneef and Abdulla, who were based in Kerala.

The city police have contacted their Kerala counterpart to get information on the duo’s background to build a stronger case against him.

Their profiles on social networking sites, too, are being scrutinised for clarity and the crime branch is also

in touch with informants for leads.

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