Fourth Mumbai youth who fled home to join ISIS killed, claim parents

Fahad Shaikh’s parents want Indian officials in Iraq or Syria to confirm the news, so they can go ahead with conducting his last rites.

mumbai Updated: Oct 25, 2017 23:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Islamic State,Kalyan,Recruit
The Islamic State is fast losing ground in both Iraq and Syria. (Reuters)

Fahad Shaikh, a 24-year-old Kalyan resident who fled from home with three of his friends to join the Islamic State in 2014, has been reported killed.

Fahad’s father Tanveer Shaikh told HT on Wednesday that a phone call from an unknown number alerted him to his death on Tuesday afternoon. “Your son is no more,” the caller told him in English, before switching to Hindi. He then went on to say that Fahad had been killed in fighting in Syria, and the last rites would be performed soon.

“Unable to take it anymore, I handed the phone to my wife,” said Tanveer. The person, who did not reveal his identity, was using a masked Voice over Internet Protocol number to make the call.

The information has been shared with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which have been keeping track of the youngsters ever since they went missing in 2014. “We also shared our telephone number with the NIA, so they can inform us after obtaining confirmation from Indian officials posted in Syria or Iraq,” the victim’s father said, adding that Fahad’s last rites (Namaaz-e-Zanaaja) will be conducted only after that.

Thane police commissioner Param Bir Singh told HT that Tanveer’s statement was recorded at the Bazaarpeth police station, where a missing complaint was lodged after Fahad’s disappearance. “We have already intimated the NIA and the ATS in this regard,” he said.

In November 2014, the parents of Aman Nadeem Tandel – a resident of neighbouring Govindwadi –received a similar call from an unknown number informing them about his death. He had earlier featured in an alleged Islamic State video, wherein he threatened to avenge the deaths of Muslims in Gujarat, Kashmir and Muzaffarnagar.

In January 2015, a close friend of Saheen Tanki – another missing Kalyan resident – received information about his death from an unknown caller. The information, however, could not be corroborated through independent sources.

In August 2014, Tanki had called up the family of Areeb Majid, the fourth missing man, and informed them about the latter’s ‘martyrdom’ in Syria. However, this information turned out to be false. Two months later, Majeed reportedly made a dramatic escape from Islamic State-controlled areas and surrendered before Turkish authorities.

He was later arrested by the NIA, and remanded in the high-security Aanda Cell at Arthur Road prison.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 22:48 IST