The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested an ISIS terror suspect in Myailaduthurai on 27th May Night. This youth is suspected to have conceived a plot to kill some Hindu leaders in Coimbatore in 2018 threatening communal harmony besides the security and sovereignty of India.
With the opening of an office in Chennai this year, the NIA has been aggressively pursuing all terror-related cases with more vigour. Earlier in the month, the NIA conducted searches at four places in Madurai in connection with its probe relating to incriminating FaceBook posts by Mohammed Iqbal. He is believed to be an extremist advocating the ideology of IS and Hizb-ut-Tahir, a fundamentalists organization.
The case was originally registered by Tamil Nadu police last year for alleged incriminating posts on the social media platform. The NIA took it over on April 15 this year. In this case, the agency has on 28th May filed the charge sheet before the NIA court in Chennai Mohammed Iqbal. According to a release from NIA “ the probe exposed that posts on the Facebook page “ Thoonga Vizhigal Rendu (Two waking eyes) is in Kazimar Street” were uploaded by accused Mohammed Iqbal @ Senthil Kumar to incite communal disharmony amongst different religious groups, in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. He had conspired with other suspects, in the name of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a banned organisation in many countries, and had professed and preached about establishing Islamic State Caliphate or Khilafa and implement Sharia globally including in India by overthrowing non-Islamic governments.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, he had participated in closed-door Bayans (meetings) and also created multiple social media accounts, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Telegram, Whats’ App etc to upload posts intending to disclaim, disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and to excite disaffection towards Indian Government”.
According to NIA sources, a group of seven people from different parts of Tamil Nadu formed a group in Coimbatore and swore allegiance to the terrorist organisation ‘ISIS’. They conspired to kill leaders based in Coimbatore, thereby threatening the communal harmony and the security and sovereignty of India.
Now the agency has made another arrest in Mayiladuthurai. The suspect who was identified as A Mohammed Ashiq was nabbed in Needur near Mayiladuthurai where he was hiding. He allegedly had sworn allegiance to the terror organisation Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in 2018 and was wanted as a prime suspect for plotting to kill a few leaders in Coimbatore. The NIA arrested the group and booked them at the NIA Police Station in New Delhi in September 2018. Mohammed Ashiq, a native of Marakkadai in Coimbatore, was named the prime suspect in the case. The charges included unlawful assembly (IPC 143), criminal conspiracy (IPC 120B) and several sections under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The trial was initiated in the Special Court for NIA Cases in Poonamallee in Chennai and was underway in 2019. Mohammed Ashiq was allegedly released on bail. However, he failed to appear at the following hearings. The Special Court had, therefore, initiated a non-bailable warrant against him. Mohammed Ashiq came to Mayiladuthurai months ago. He was working in a broiler shop in Needur where an agency with the help of local police arrested in a midnight operation.
In a related development, the TN police team from the Fundamentalist unit has arrested SRafiq alias Noorudhin alias Ismail ,37 one of the accused in the bomb blast case at the Central Railway station in 2014 in which a software woman engineer was killed. On May 5, Rafique and his associate Sabiyullah Yasin snatched Rs.7.5 lakh and 282-gram gold worth Rs.9 lakh from a jeweller P Suraj. The police arrested Sabiyullah Yasin based on the CCTV footages of the crime area. During the questioning, he told the involvement of Rafiq. Police arrested Rafiq at his Tiruvottiyur hideout. During the probe, it came to light of his involvement in more than 10 criminal cases of fraud and a pending non-bailable warrant, issued against him in connection with the bomb blast case. In 2016 the NIA had arrested some suspects involved in the 2014 Chennai Central Railway station blast. They were involved in another terror case and were lodged in a jail in Madhya Pradesh. However, Rafique had absconded. Rafiq, according to police, had started his criminal career as a fake currency agent in the city and that he had links with anti-national and fundamentalists based in Bengal’s Malda district. He was also arrested in Chennai suburb Koungaiyur for smuggling fake currency case ten years ago. He is learnt to have visited Bangladesh and Pakistan too procure the fake currency notes.
The DMK government which has been busy effecting transferring bureaucrats has dropped all the cases filed against Sterlite protesters and some political leaders ( most of them are its allies). Before the polls, the previous government had appointment orders to kins of who died in the police shootout in Thoothukudi in May 22, 2018. CM Stalin last week again gave appointment letters to the family of victims upgrading their posts. All those who died in police shoot out, it is learnt, are sympathizers or cadres of Naxal and Christian outfits. Many in the state question Government’s move and appointing such elements will compromise the security of the state. It will also encourage people to do such things ( the protestors in 2018 had attacked physically police with weapons, and ransacked the District collector office, misbehaved with women staff there) to get government jobs besides getting hefty compensation. VCK, MDMK, TMMK and other allies have started urging the TN government to release more than 25 terrorists lodged in Coimbatore, Puzhal, Cuddalore, Palayamkottai prisons saying they have been in jail for over 20 years. They have also cited the courts observations Jails are crowded and need to be pruned in view of Covid -19 pandemic.
In a precursor, the CM Stalin had written to the President of India to release the 7 life convicts of Rajiv Gandhi killers. The families of police personnel who were killed along with Rajiv Gandhi had opposed this move. TN Congress, an ally of DMK, too voiced its concern for releasing seven who killed their leader.
The release of the convicts of the Rajiv assassination case – Murugan, Santhan, Nalini, Rober Pious, Jayakumar, Ravichandran and Perarivalan – has been a consistent demand made by the Dravidian parties of Tamil Nadu. It is be noted the Dravidian parties contradictory stand in this issue. In April 2002, the then AIADMK government passed a resolution in the Tamil Nadu assembly condemning the assassination attempt and demanding the execution of those guilty, including LTTE chief Prabhakaran. According to the resolution, no one from a banned terrorist organization should be permitted to enter Tamil Nadu. However, following the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, the Tamil Nadu government takes the exact opposite of the 2002 resolution and adopts a new resolution in favour of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convicts in later years.