Police arrest IIT-Guwahati student under UAPA for 'links with ISIS', looking for another

Touseef Ali Farooqui
Touseef Ali Farooqui

Guwahati | An IIT-Guwahati student, who had allegedly pledged allegiance to ISIS, was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on Sunday, a senior official said here.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who also holds the Home portfolio, said that two students of IIT-Guwahati have been identified as having links with ISIS and trying to join the group, but one of them is "not found" as of now.

Out of the two, Touseef Ali Farooqui, who is a 4th-year B Tech student of Bioscience department, was detained on Saturday.

Assam Police's Special Task Force (STF) Inspector General Parthasarathi Mahanta told PTI that after interrogating him, police found credible evidence of his links with ISIS and he was arrested on Sunday.

"We produced him in the court, which has sent him to police custody for 10 days. We also carried out a search in his hostel room inside the IIT-Guwahati campus," Mahanta said.

Farooqui, who hails from Delhi, was arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, he added.

On Saturday, he was detained at Hajo in Kamrup district while he was on his way to join ISIS after allegedly pledging allegiance to the terror group.

The student was detained three days after the ISIS India head Haris Farooqi alias Harish Ajmal Farukhi and his associate Anurag Singh alias Rehan were arrested in Dhubri district after they had crossed over from Bangladesh.

The IG said, "Further investigation is underway as of date and further rounds of questioning of the suspect are going on."

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters in Chirang, where he is on a tour for election campaigning, that police have got information about two students of IIT-Guwahati trying to join ISIS.

"One of them has been found, but the other is not found. We are looking for him and will soon get him. They have been radicalised and we have informed their parents. They hail from Batla House area of Delhi," he added.

Sarma also said that central agencies have been intimated accordingly.

On Saturday, STF Additional Superintendent of Police Kalyan Kumar Pathak said the student had sent an email, in which he claimed that he was on the way to join ISIS.

The IIT-Guwahati authorities were immediately contacted, who informed the police that the said student had been "missing' since noon and his mobile phone was also switched off.

The police began a search to locate him and he was nabbed from the Hajo area in the evening with the help of locals, the ASP had said.

He had also said that a black flag, "purportedly similar to that of ISIS", was found in his hostel room and was being sent for verification to specialised agencies which deal with proscribed outfits.

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