The National Investigation Agency (NIA), collecting evidence to file the charge sheet in Areeb Majeed’s case, is questioning the four youths’ friends to gather details about their email addresses and the social networking sites they would surf, officers said.
Majeed was among the four youth who went to Iraq on a pilgrimage and then allegedly joined the ISIS. He returned to India on November 28, 2014, and is in the NIA’s custody since.
According to NIA officers, friends of the four men have been questioned and made witnesses in the case.
The NIA had sent notices to around 10 people on March 9 (a copy of which is with Hindustan Times) under section 160 of The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and asked them to be present for questioning.
Under section 160 of the CrPc, if an officer gets details that a particular person has information regarding a case, he can ask the person to be present in front of him and help him with the evidence by making him a witness in the case.
After Majeed’s arrest, it was found during investigations that the four men were radicalised through social networking sites.
Hence, the investigating agency has sought assistance from the youths’ friends who interacted with them on social media.
The officers are trying to get details about the chats and conversations between the four youths and their friends before they left for Iraq and after it.
“The witnesses gave us the details about the conversation on social networking sites and web-based chat applications. At the same time, we also got to know the different sites the four were using when they were radicalised,” said a source from NIA.
The questioning took place on March 13 at the NIA’s Mumbai office.