Maharashtra ATS and Kerala Police arrested a close aide of controversial Islamic Preacher Zakir naik in a joint operation on Wednesday night for recruiting Kerala youth for terrorist outfit ISIS. The development was reported by news agency ANI which said Arshid Qureshi, a youth allegedly associated with Zakir Naik 's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was arrested from after police raided his flat in Navi Mumbai area.
This is the first arrest which has been linked to Zakir Naik’s organization Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). Earlier, televangelist Zakir Naik had come under the scanner after the Bangladeshi Government has alleged that the attackers of a Dhaka bakery were inspired by the preachings of Zakir Naik. A inquiry was launched by Maharashtra government following this incident. If links of the arrested person are established with IRF, this could bring fresh trouble for the televangelist.
According to the Times Of India, Qureshi was held after a joint team of Maharashtra Ats and Kerala police raided a flat in Seawoods. He was produced before a magistrate's court in CBD-Belapur on Thursday and remanded in transit custody for four days. He will be questioned by the Maharashtra ATS and later taken to Kerala for further enquiry.
The arrest was made following a complaint by Ebin Jacob, brother of Kerala girl Mariam who has been missing along with her husband Bestin Vincent alias Yahiya. Ebin had told the authorities that he was being forced to convert to Islam and join IS. “As per the statement, Qureshi insisted that Ebin should embrace Islam and join IS. It was Bestin who compelled Ebin to come to Mumbai and meet Qureshi,” said Ernakulam ACP, K V Vijayan to the reporters.
The duo has been booked under section 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). A spokesperson of the IRF has refused to comment on the issue, reports TOI.