The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday rejected a bail plea of Mohammed Haneef, a priest from Kerala who was arrested on August 13 for allegedly influencing a city-based man to join terror outfit ISIS.
In the bail plea filed before the special court, Haneef had pleaded that he has been falsely implicated in the case. “As per Islamic religion and custom he was professing the religious work as imam in the Masjid for leading prayer five times apart from the said duty he was assigned to spread Islamic values amongst the Muslim community. There cannot be any offence for preaching or giving knowledge about religious speech under any law,” stated his plea.
NIA had opposed his plea contending that forensic analysis of Haneef’s mobile phone revealed his association with youngsters from Kasargod and Palakkad districts in Kerala who have left to join the ISIS. The premier investigation agency claimed the bail plea should be rejected as their investigation was in progress and they were yet to file a charge sheet in the case.
“Haneef radicalised a group of Muslims into extremist jihadi ideology while working as the imam in Salafi Masjid at Padne, Kasargod, in Kerala. He worked in the mosque till August 2015. He used to send voice messages on the ideology and forward messages he received on a WhatsApp group, Haneef Maulavi Classes,” NIA had said in its reply to the bail application.
Considering the objections raised by the agency the special court on Friday rejected the plea.