10 arrested in ISIS case sent to 12-day NIA custody
A day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested 10 people belonging to an ISIS-linked cell, the arrested was produced before a Delhi court, on Thursday, amid tight security. During the hearing, Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey sentenced all 10 to 12 days in NIA custody. After custodial interrogation, they will be produced before the court again on January 8. Here are the details.
What went down in court
While producing the arrested in court, the NIA had sought 15 days of custodial interrogation, arguing that it needed half-a-month to interrogate the accused and unravel the entire conspiracy. However, advocate M S Khan, representing the accused, argued that the NIA had already uncovered the entire conspiracy as it had held a press conference and made its findings public. Subsequently, the court gave its sentence.
On Wednesday, the NIA conducted 17 raids
On Wednesday, the NIA conducted simultaneous raids across 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi while probing a new ISIS module, 'Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam'. The raids resulted in the arrest of the alleged leader of the cell, one Mufti Suhail. Suhail, a worker at a mosque in UP's Amroha district, was coordinating the operation, and it's believed that he was being guided by a foreign handler.
What we know about those who were arrested
During the raids, the NIA nabbed 16 people, and after interrogating them, arrested 10. Suhail and four others were arrested from UP, while the other five were arrested from north east Delhi. The NIA said that one civil engineering student, a graduate student, two welders and an auto driver were among those arrested. Efforts are on to identify and locate the foreign handler.
A massive arsenal was recovered from the group
After their arrest, a massive cache of arms and ammunition were seized. A country-made rocket launcher, 13 pistols, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were seized. Additionally, the NIA also seized 25kg of explosive material, 112 bomb timers, around 100 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, laptops and memory cards. Rs. 7.5 lakh worth of cash was also seized.
Multiple attacks had been planned for New Year's eve
The NIA believes that the cell was planning to carry out multiple attacks on New Year's eve, using arms, bombs, and suicide vests. The group had come under the NIA's radar some three or four months back, but it took the investigative agency some time to unravel the entire conspiracy. That said, it's a major win for security forces in combating the growing influence of ISIS in India.
NIA, so far, has kept ISIS at bay in India
A December 2017 report by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) revealed that the NIA had, till then, arrested as many as 103 people in India for having links to ISIS cells, or for being ISIS sympathizers. 17 arrests were made in UP.