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NIA files chargesheet against 6 accused in Maharashtra ISIS terror-module case

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NEW DELHI/MUMBAI, Dec 28: The NIA has filed a chargesheet against six accused in the Maharashtra ISIS terror-module case, highlighting a larger conspiracy with international linkages and the involvement of foreign-based handlers of the terror group, an official said on Thursday.

The accused, chargesheeted before the NIA Special Court in Mumbai under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC), were allegedly engaged in actively propagating the violent and extremist ideology of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and carrying out acts preparatory to terrorist violence through the recruitment of individuals to the organisation and its cause, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.

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The official identified the chargesheeted accused as Tabish Nasser Siddiqui of Mumbai, Zulfikar Ali Barodawala alias “Lalabhai”, Sharjeel Shaikh and Aakif Ateeque Nachan of Borivali-Padgha, and Zubair Noor Mohammad Shaikh alias “Abu Nusaiba” and Adnanali Sarkar of Pune.

“They are all members of the proscribed ISIS outfit and had hatched a conspiracy to further the terrorist activities of the organisation, with the intention to strike fear and terror among people and threaten the security of India, its secular ethos and culture and the democratic system of governance,” the NIA spokesperson said.

The accused were held in July during multiple raids conducted by the NIA in Maharashtra.

The 400-page chargesheet, filed in the court of Special NIA Judge A K Lahoti, has 16 protected witnesses.

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The NIA spokesperson said the investigation exposed a complex network of individuals committed to propagating the extremist and violent ideology of the ISIS in India.

Barodawala and Nachan were also earlier chargesheeted in the Pune ISIS-module case for fabrication of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to trigger blasts, the official said, adding that Barodawala and Siddiqui had taken an oath of allegiance (“Bayath”) to the self-styled “Khalifa” (leader) of the ISIS.

The NIA spokesperson said the agency also found the accused in possession of incriminating material related to “Hijrah” (migration) to Syria, along with propaganda magazines, such as “Voice of Hind” and “Voice of Khurasan”, published by the ISIS.

“Further, the accused had been sharing DIY (do-it-yourself) kits with their contacts. The accused were also found to be raising funds to finance their terror plans and designs,” the official added.

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The NIA lodged the case against Siddiqui and others in Mumbai on June 28, following information from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding a conspiracy hatched by them to disturb the unity, integrity, security and sovereignty of the country, and wage a war against the government by promoting the terrorist activities of the ISIS.

Further investigations in the case are continuing, the official said.

The ISIS, also known by the names of Islamic State (IS), Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), Daesh, Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), ISIS Wilayat Khorasan and Islamic State of Iraq and Sham Khorasan (ISIS-K), has been operating through various modules to spread terror across the country, he added. (PTI)


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