Zuber Ahmed Khan, a self-proclaimed sympathiser of 1993 serial blasts convict Yakub Memon who posted on social media that he wished to renounce his Indian citizenship and become an official spokesperson for Islamic State (IS), has been to Pakistan, according to his profile on a social networking site. Khan was detained by the Delhi Police on Friday.
Khan, a resident of Kharghar in Navi Mumbai, has posted on social media that he has been to places such as Delhi, Indore, Raipur, Rewa, north Africa and Pakistan. However, police are yet to confirm this by questioning him. Delhi Police spokesperson DCP Rajan Bhagat said the police are in the process of questioning Khan but have not arrested him yet.
His brother Fakhruddin said Khan has never been abroad and that his passport is blank. He added that once his brother returns, the family will call a press conference to clear the air. Fakhruddin had earlier claimed his brother’s social media accounts had been hacked and that he wasn’t the author of the controversial posts.
Officials from the Mumbai crime branch and Maharashtra’s Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) are looking into Khan’s background to ascertain if his extreme views are the product of indoctrination. Khan has been writing blogs since 2010, a police officer said.
In a blog post on August 3, Khan praised Yakub Memon while calling his July 30 execution an “injustice”. He appealed to Muslims not to co-operate with the police or any Indian government agency or inform them about suspicious people or activities they may have witnessed. Khan added that he decided to attempt to join Islamic State after giving it much thought.
Mumbai resident who wanted to join IS detained by Delhi Police
Khan, who has a diploma in computer hardware and software engineering, has also done a master’s in journalism and mass communication. He worked as journalist for the publications Kaumi Paigam and International Peace and briefly for a news channel.
The Mumbai police and Maharashtra ATS have not registered a case against Khan so far.
Citizen alerted Maria on email
A senior police officer told HT that after Yakub Memon’s execution on July 30, a citizen emailed police commissioner Rakesh Maria a link to Zuber Khan’s posts.
Maria ordered the crime branch to probe the matter, following which various units began to search for Khan on August 2. A team went to Khan’s home in Kharghar but found it was shut.
Another went to Bandra on Tuesday based on the location from which some of his posts were made, but couldn’t find him. Officials from the cyber-crime investigation cell blocked and deleted Khan’s posts on various social networking sites but their efforts were largely pointless as they had already gone viral.