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How an engineering aspirant from Azamgarh transformed into a terrorist

Ariz Khan wanted to become an engineer, but friendship with an Indian Mujahideen operative took him to path of jihad.

india Updated: May 19, 2018 07:56 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Azamgarh,Indian Mujahideen,Militant
A view of the NIA headquarters in New Delhi.(Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The son of a journalist, he wanted to become an engineer, but his friendship with another Azamgarh man led him on the path of jihad, suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Ariz Khan alias Junaid has told federal counter-terror investigators.

Ariz’s father Zafare Alam Khan worked with a news periodical and his mother was a school teacher. Ariz studied at schools in his native place Azamgarh.

In 2001, Ariz tried for admission in Aligarh Muslim University, but could not clear the entrance exam. “He met Atif Ameen, also from Azamgarh, for the first time in Aligarh where Ameen too had come to take the entrance exam. They came back and took admission in school for 11th standard and started meeting regularly when Atif and he started staying in the same locality,” said a home ministry official familiar with the details of Ariz’s interrogation by the NIA .

There he came in touch with other associates of Ameen, like Arif Badar and others who later formed the Azamgarh module of the IM, according to NIA officials. “Badar used to speak about demolition of Babri Masjid to others and also told them that India should have Sharia laws. They used to listen to speeches of Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed,” said the official cited above.

Officials say after securing a low rank in engineering entrance, Ariz didn’t join the course and went to live with his brother in Muzaffarnagar.

“Atif then told him he had gone to Pakistan for training in (handling) arms. Ariz finally left studies in 2008 but before that he had become a fellow-traveller of Atif Ameen,” added the official

First Published: May 19, 2018 07:55 IST