J&K Couple With ‘IS Links’ Incited CAA Protests With Graffiti: NIA

NIA said Jahanzaib Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh, both residents of J&K, were inciting anti-CAA protests.

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The NIA said Jahanzaib Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh, both residents of Jammu and Kashmir, were inciting anti-CAA protests.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday, 2 September, filed a charge sheet against five accused, including a Kashmiri couple, in the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) case for allegedly inciting unrest during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest, and if this failed, planning arson attacks on government buildings and provoke riots.

The NIA claimed the couple with another accused were:

“...conspiring to utilise the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests to instigate Muslims against the Indian government by coining seditious slogans and making graffiti at public places and highlighting the same on social and international media. They were also provoking some gullible youth to participate in anti-CAA protests actively. In case these protests failed to provoke the Muslims, they were planning for arsoning of Government buildings & public property so that riots could happen and they could exploit the sentiments of Muslims.” 

In the charge sheet filed at a special NIA court here, the agency has named Jahanzaib Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh, both residents of Jammu and Kashmir and presently residing in Delhi's Okhla area, Abdullah Basith of Hyderabad, Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, and Nabeel Siddick Khatri, both residents of Pune.

Abdullah Basith is already lodged in Delhi's Tihar jail in connection with another IS Abu Dhabi module case of the NIA.

"During the probe it was found that Jahanzaib, Beigh, Basith and Siddick tried to make an improvised IED and were planning to carry out mass killings in crowded places to further the activities of ISIS/ISKP in India."

The agency said that the accused had carried out reconnaissance of certain sensitive locations in Maharashtra which are frequented by foreigners.

The five accused have been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for their alleged affiliation with the proscribed terrorist organisation ISIS/ISKP and for allegedly conspiring to create disaffection against the government, and allegedly promoting enmity among different religious communities and for allegedly committing subversive activities.

The official said that during investigation it was “revealed” that Wani, a B.Tech from Punjab's Ferozpur, got radicalised towards the ISIS/ISKP by reading about it on the internet. He established contact with ISIS handler Huzaifa-al-Bakistani and latter's father-in-law Abu Usman-al-Kashmiri (Head of Indian affairs of ISKP) in 2017 on a secure messaging platform, he said.

"Huzaifa-al-Bakistani further introduced Wani to Basith," the official said.

Beigh, who had done her higher education from Pune, also allegedly got radicalised since 2014-15 by reading ISIS-related content on social media. Wani and Beigh married in 2017 as both supported the ideology of the ISIS, the official said.

"Wani, Beigh, Basith and Shaikh were continuously in contact with ISIS operatives based in Khorasan and Syria. On receiving instructions from Abu Usman-al-Kashmiri, Wani and Basith prepared a magazine titled 'Voice of Hind' to incite Muslims against non-Muslims and exhort them to rise against the government and join ISIS," the official said.

The official said that the magazine eulogises ISIS/ISKP terrorists including Huzaifa-al-Bakistani who was killed in July 2019 in a drone strike in Afghanistan and denigrates the Indian Constitution and democratic system.

A case was initially registered by Delhi Police Special Cell in March 2020 after the arrest of Wani and his wife from Okhla Vihar in Jamia Nagar area.

The official also said that the anti-terror probe agency has arrested another accused, Abdur Rehman aka Dr. Brave, from Bengaluru on 17 August, as he was also in contact with Wani as part of the conspiracy to promote the activities of ISIS/ISKP and had also visited an ISIS medical camp in Syria in 2014. Investigation into the alleged activities of Rehman and other suspects in this case is continuing.

(With IANS inputs)

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