The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday carried out searches at four locations in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district. According to an official, this comes in connection with a case relating to incriminating Facebook posts by an extremist advocating the ideology of the Islamic State terror group and fundamentalist organisation Hizb-Ut-Tahrir. The case pertains to uploading some incriminating posts on Facebook by Mohammad Iqbal, a Madurai resident, who was arrested in December last year, he said.
The searches were conducted at Kazimar Street, K Pudur, Pethaniyapuram and Mehaboob Palayam in Madurai district. During the operation, 16 digital devices, including a laptop, hard disks, mobile phones, memory cards, SIMs, pen drives and many incriminating books/pamphlets/documents have been recovered,
In the social media posts, Iqbal has advocated the ideology of the ISIS terror group and Hizb-Ut-Tahrir, a fundamentalist organisation, the official of the premier investigation agency said.
The posts on the Facebook page titled "Thoonga Vizhigal Rendu is in Kazimar Street" was uploaded by Iqbal for denigrating a particular community, the official said, adding they were designed to incite communal disharmony amongst different religious groups, in a manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order. Further investigation in the case continues.
Notably, the NIA had arrested the most number of IS members and/or sympathisers from Tamil Nadu, as per a report issued in 2020. Of the 177 arrests the agency had made in 2019, 34 were from the state. This was revealed in an RTI response to The News Minute dated February 13, 2020, by the Ministry of Home Affairs. In June 2019, the NIA had raided several locations in Coimbatore against persons who were accused of ‘propagating IS/Daesh ideology’ on social media.
(With inputs from PTI)