The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a charge sheet against two persons, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) employee Arshi Qureshi and alleged Islamic State ‘recruit’ Abdul Rashid Abdullah, in the case of alleged propaganda of Kerala-based youths to join Islamic State.
However, the NIA told the court that they do not have ‘enough evidence’ to file a charge sheet against two other detained accused, Maulana Haneef Thottimal and Rizwan Khan.
Special Judge VV Patil informed Haneef (accommodated at Arthur Road jail) via a video-link that he can appeal for bail since the NIA has not filed a charge sheet against him within 180 days. Khan too will be entitled for default bail on February 17, after he finishes 180 days in prision.
But NIA counsel Geeta Godambe told the court that they do not want to release the two as additional investigation is still ongoing.
The case is about an alleged indoctrination of Ashfak Majeed, whose father Abdul had approached the police in August 2016 with an objection against Qureshi, Haneef and Khan. As per the complaint, they involved into a criminal conspiracy in programing and recruiting Ashfak, his wife and daughter to join IS.
NIA took over the case from the Mumbai police and demanded protection of the men in November. A separate case against the 3 was also being probed by the Kerala Police, in which the other associates of Ashfak, who went missing together with him, are linked.
“Investigation has established that Arshi Qureshi was using his official position in IRF to influence people from other religions to embrace Islam. He used to selectively pick practices and rituals of other religions to compare with Islam and used to motivate them for Hijrah,” the charge sheet reads.
Qureshi functioned as a guest manager at IRF, founded by televangelist Zakir Naik.