ISIS effect: Missing people are now a priority for ATS

  • Manish K Pathak, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 23, 2016 01:18 IST

Since an alleged module of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) was unearthed in Malwani in December last year, the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has been keeping a keen eye on missing-person complaints registered across the city.

It has found that many people registered as missing have in fact been radicalised by ISIS recruiters.

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The ATS is thus treating every missing-person case on priority and has also turned to local police stations and its network of informants, especially in slum pockets, for help.

ATS officials have been paying frequent visits to various areas, including slums, to find out if any local residents have not been seen for a few weeks.

A source said in many cases in which young people go missing, their parents are reluctant to register a case.

Such was the case with Mohsin Sayyed, Wazid and Noor Mohammad, alleged members of the ISIS module in Malwani, who left their homes without informing their parents in December 2015.

Their families were initially reluctant to approach the police and only did so almost two weeks later, after ATS officials visited their homes and inquired about their sons.

Over the past few months, 12 young men from slums in Malwani and Goregaon are believed to have been radicalised by ISIS recruiters.

Four of them left the city, allegedly to join ISIS. One of them was arrested by the Delhi police, and two others were also brought back home before they could leave the country.

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