NIA arrests 19-year-old Durgapur student for Islamic State links
Ashique Ahmed alias Raja, a resident of Hooghly’s Dhaniakhali, was arrested on Wednesday in New Delhi after National Investigation Agency officials interrogated him for two weeks.india Updated: Mar 18, 2016 01:35 IST
A 19-year-old polytechnic student at West Bengal’s Durgapur was arrested by the NIA for suspected links with the Islamic State (IS) in the first such incident in the state involving the terror group.
Ashique Ahmed alias Raja, a resident of Hooghly’s Dhaniakhali, was arrested on Wednesday in New Delhi after National Investigation Agency officials interrogated him for two weeks.
After an interrogation in Kolkata for five days, Ahmed was flown to the NIA’s headquarters in New Delhi for further questioning. “After thorough interrogation the NIA sleuths on Wednesday evening arrested him,” SK Singh, IG, NIA, said.
The NIA sleuths were initially hesitant to arrest him as he is a teenager and has no criminal record.
NIA had detained Ahmed from Durgapur on February 25 for questioning. Acting on a tip-off, NIA sleuths had reached Durgapur with a team from the state CID and picked up Ahmed. He lived in a rented accommodation with four of his friends in Durgapur and had even changed his name to Raja Das.
Durgapur is also not far from Burdwan where the NIA had unearthed a terror module involving the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen of Bangladesh.
Ahmed was then taken to his ancestral home in Dhaniakhali where the NIA sleuths had seized some documents. Later, he and his father were taken to Kolkata for interrogation.
According to NIA sources, Ahmed’s name came up during interrogation of one Abdus Sami Qasmi, who was arrested by the NIA from Uttar Pradesh on February 5.
In the middle of January this year, the agency had received information that a module with IS links was preparing for a strike. This group comprised young boys from different parts of the country.
Several central agencies and state police forces worked together on the information and found certain leads. Based on these leads, simultaneous raids were conducted at 12 places in six cities - Bengaluru, Tumkur, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Lucknow.
The anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of Maharashtra also conducted raids at two other locations on January 22 and January 23. Fourteen people were arrested and incriminating articles, including mobile phones, laptops, jihadi literature and videos were seized.
Subsequent interrogation of those arrested led the NIA to Qasmi which nabbed him with the help of ATS, Uttar Pradesh, from Hardoi district.
“Qasmi was arrested for planning terror attacks in the country. He also delivered provocative speeches in the support of IS. After interrogating him, the NIA came to know about Ashique Ahmed,” an NIA official said.