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Terror accused claims he was beaten in Tihar jail, officials reject claim

A plea has been filed in a Delhi court on Wednesday by an alleged ISIS member--arrested for planning suicide attacks and serial blasts across the country--claiming that he was beaten up by other inmates in Tihar jail and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’
By HT Correspondent, New Delhi:
PUBLISHED ON JUN 10, 2021 12:09 AM IST

A plea has been filed in a Delhi court on Wednesday by an alleged ISIS member--arrested for planning suicide attacks and serial blasts across the country--claiming that he was beaten up by other inmates in Tihar jail and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’. Tihar jail officials have denied the allegations.

Rashid Zafar was arrested in December 2018 on the allegations of being a member of an ISIS-inspired group, which was planning suicide attacks and serial blasts targeting politicians and government installations in Delhi and other parts of north India.

Advocate M S Khan, who represented Zafar’s plea, said his client disclosed the incident to his father telephonically from Tihar Jail.

The plea said Zafar was beaten up and forced to chant religious slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by his inmates. It has sought appropriate directions be passed to the jail superintendent to look into the matter.

Tihar jail officers said that the allegations made by the prisoner are false. Sandeep Goel, the prison’s director general, said, “ The prisoner had gone to the jail dispensary duly escorted by the jail guards. While returning he ran towards another ward, where he was not supposed to go. He is a prisoner from a high-security jail. Our jail guards tried to stop him from going to that different ward. During that process, he got violent and inflicted injuries on himself. We got his medical examination done at the prison hospital. The injuries were not of serious nature. He has now come up with these allegations. Prima facie the allegations are false but we are still conducting an inquiry into it.”

Zafar was arrested, along with nine others, after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches, in coordination with the special cell of Delhi Police and the Anti-Terrorism Squad of Uttar Pradesh Police, at six places in Jafrabad and Seelampur in Delhi, and 11 places in Uttar Pradesh. The searches and the arrests came a month before the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

According to NIA, a locally-made rocket launcher, material for suicide vests and 112 alarm clocks to be used as timers were recovered from the searches.The agency also said it recovered 25kg of explosive material, such as potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate and sulphur.

The group had also allegedly purchased remote control cars and wireless doorbells to use circuits in assembling remote-controlled improvised explosive devices. Besides, the NIA also recovered steel containers, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, three laptops, knife, sword and ISIS-related literature during the searches.

The probe agency had initially rounded up 16 people of the group ‘Harkat ul Harb e Islam’, which loosely translates into war for the cause of Islam.

Of the 16 detained, 10 were later arrested - five from Amroha in UP and five from Seelampur and Jafrabad localities in north-east Delhi, the agency had said.

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