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Radicalisation case: Mumbai crime branch wants to quiz 3 accused together

mumbai Updated: Sep 07, 2016 12:39 IST
Saurabh Joshi

The crime branch on Tuesday sought custody of preacher Mohammad Haneef - booked for radicalising youngsters from Kerala, who went on to join terror group Islamic State - to question him along with Arshi Qureshi and Rizwan Khan, the two other men booked in connection with case.

Haneef was arrested from Kerala in August, following a complaint filed by Abdul Majeed Kadar Khan, the father of one of the radicalised youth.

The court reserved its order on Haneef till Friday, while extending the custody of Qureshi, a former employee of televangelist Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, and preacher Khan till Friday, after the prosecution said they wanted to question them with Haneef. The prosecution told the court this would help decipher communication between them, which the lawyers believed was done in code.

As many as 21 people from Kerala have gone missing and are feared to have joined ISIS. The police suspect Qureshi was involved in brainwashing the young people, while Khan’s primary role was to draw up documents and conduct weddings. Qureshi, however, continues to claim he did not know any of the 21 missing youth.

The investigators also said they found bail bonds and conversion affidavits at Khan’s Kalyan home, which needed to be verified. The court was told there were several people involved in the case, and that investigators were looking into cases of conversion.

The defence, however, argued against granting the crime branch further custody of Khan and Qureshi, saying they had held them long enough.