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Sri Lanka Islamic centre merits probe: Officials

Some of them were converted to Islam at the Zakir Naik-led Islamic Research Foundation at Mumbai; the NIA has arrested Arshi Qureshi and chargesheeted him.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2019 09:56 IST
Neeraj Chauhan
Neeraj Chauhan
New Delhi
Sri Lanka,Bomb blasts,Islamic centre in Sri Lanka
Relatives bury three members of the same family, all died at Easter Sunday bomb blast at St. Sebastian Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, Monday (AP)

An Islamic centre in Sri Lanka that hosted several Islamic State recruits from Kerala before they left for Afghanistan or Syria merits investigation, senior National Investigation Agency officials said on condition of anonymity, although they added that there are no evident links between it and the terror attacks in the island nation on Sunday that killed close to 300 people.

According to the NIA officials, many of these recruits travelled to Sri Lanka and were likely indoctrinated at the Islamic centre there, although they did not specify the name and the location of this centre.

“There must be somebody in Sri Lanka who was indoctrinating Indians who travelled there and was telling them and others about violent Jehad,” said one of the NIA officers.

One of the recruits, Ashfak Majeed from Kasargod, went to Sri Lanka in February 2016 along with his wife Shamsiya and daughter Ayesha; another, Abdul Rashid Abdulla from Kozhikode too left India with his wife Ayisha and daughter Sara for Sri Lanka in 2016; and still another, Palakkad native Bestin Vincent and his wife Merrin went to Sri Lanka in December 2015.

Some of them were converted to Islam at the Zakir Naik-led Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) at Mumbai; the NIA has arrested Arshi Qureshi and chargesheeted him.

According to the officials, NIA had sent a request to Sri Lanka under the mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) seeking information on this Islamic centre.

First Published: Apr 23, 2019 08:03 IST