Mumbai Crime Branch officials are looking for a man who declared on social media that he is a sympathiser of 1993 serial blasts convict Yakub Memon and wishes to give up his Indian citizenship to become an official spokesperson for the Islamic State (IS).
A police source said the suspect is a resident of Navi Mumbai and that he was traced to Bandra, where crime branch officials went to arrest him on Tuesday afternoon. He managed to evade the police. A senior police official said they got to know about the man’s controversial posts from an alert citizen a few days ago.
Sources said the suspect, who goes by the name of Zuber Ahmed Khan on a popular social networking site, addressed his post to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and expressed his desire to become an official spokesperson for the West Asian terrorist group that has declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.
The suspect, who claims to be a journalist, also wrote that he is ready to renounce his Indian citizenship if selected by IS. He made several posts before and after Memon’s execution on July 30 in which he called Memon a martyr.
In a post on August 1, he said he would reach Delhi by the Rajdhani Express on August 4 and visit the Embassy of Iraq to express his desire to be an IS spokesperson. He also wrote that he would visit the Pakistani Embassy to expedite his visa request.
A police official, who did not wish to be named, said, “The suspect’s posts went viral on Facebook and Twitter. A few people even forwarded them to the Twitter handle of the prime minister’s office and the Facebook page of home minister Rajnath Singh.” The police managed to delete a few of his posts but were unable to remove them entirely as they had gone viral.
Officials said that though the suspect had been traced to Bandra based on where the posts were made from, it was possible that the posts were the handiwork of “criminal elements” seeking to send the police on a wild goose chase.
The Mumbai police’s social media lab has cracked down on dozens of “provocative” posts on various social networking sites over the past week.