The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed a chargesheet against two persons for radicalizing missing Kerala youths to join the Islamic State (IS) terror network.
In its chargesheet submitted at a special NIA court, the Agency has reportedly named televangelist Zakir Naik's Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) employee Arshi Qureshi and Kasargod-based Abdul Rashid Abdullah (believed to be the main conspirator) for their alleged involvement in the same.
While Qureshi has been reportedly booked under Sections 13 and 39 of the UAPA, for spreading hatred against India by supporting IS, Rashid- an employee of Peace Foundation- has been charged under Sections 13 (punishment for unlawful activities), 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation), 39 (support to a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention (UAP) Act.
The case was taken up following a complaint filed with the Mumbai police by the father of Ashfaq Majeed -a Kasargod native- who had gone missing last year. Ashfaqâ€™s father alleged that Qureshi and Rashid had indoctrinated his son and his family and lured them into joining the IS.
Ashfaq, his wife and daughter were among the 21 people who went missing between September and October 2016.
After the Mumbai police arrested Qureshi in November, the NIA had sought his custody the same month and brought him to Kerala. Rashid is however still at large.
According to India Today, the 4000-page chargesheet makes a mention of a Whatsapp group named Tazkiyan (purification of soul) by Rashid to hold discussions about Islam. He is also said to have taken classes on jihad.
The Indian Express reports that the chargesheet also speaks about how Ashfaq came into contact with Qureshi in Mumbai. Later, Ashfaq would refer youth of his acquaintance to Qureshi, saying that the latter was an expert in Islamic studies.
Families of other missing youths too have accused Qureshi of converting their children to Islam. The youngsters - under the influence of Qureshi- used to visit the IRF office at Dongri as well as his residence in Navi Mumbai during 2014-15.
Going by multiple media reports, Rashid had even funded the travel of many of the missing youths, helping them purchase tickets to travel from Mumbai to Tehran via Dubai.
All of them reportedly followed the Salafi way of life. Charul Shah reports for Hindustan Times that Rashid practised collective farming with others to "practise the pure Islamic way of life."