The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday filed a chargesheet against a Kashmiri couple for their alleged links with the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province module, a proscribed terror organisation. The chargesheet also accused them of conspiring to “utilise” the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act to instigate Muslims against the Centre.
On March 8, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell announced they had detained Jahanzaib Sami Wani, and his wife, Hina Bashir Beg, from their rented flat in Jamia Nagar locality of the Capital. A case was registered against them for their alleged links with the terror outfit.
Investigators claimed that Wani and Beg were involved in instigating protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The police also claimed they had seized objectionable material found in the couple’s possession.
In the chargesheet filed on Wednesday, the NIA said it re-registered the case on March 20 and took up the investigation. The central agency said their inquiry has revealed that Wani got “radicalised and inclined” towards the Islamic State by reading about it on the internet.
Following this, the agency said that Wani established contact with members of the Islamic State through a secure messaging platform in 2017. The chargesheet said that Wani got in touch with ISIS handler Huzaifa-al-Bakistani and his father-in-law via Huzaifa-al-Bakistani, the head of the Indian affairs of the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province.
“Huzaifa-al-Bakistani further introduced him to Abdullah Basith, another ISIS operative, who is already in Page 2 of 2 judicial custody at Tihar jail in connection with another NIA case (ISIS Abu Dabhi Module),” the chargesheet added.
The NIA added that Wani’s wife, Hina Bashir also got “radicalised” since 2014-’15 by reading ISIS-related content on social media. “ Jahanzaib [Wani] and Ms Hina [Bashir] got married in 2017 as both supported the ideology of ISIS,” the chargesheet said.
Three others named by NIA
Besides Wani and Beg, the NIA chargesheet also included three others – Abdullah Basith, Sadiya Anwar Shaikh and Nabeel Siddick Khatri – for being “continuously in contact with ISIS operatives” based in Khorasan and Syria.
All of them have been accused of “conspiring to create disaffection” against the government, promoting enmity among different religious communities and for committing “subversive activities”.
The investigative agency said that based on ISKP’s instructions, Wani and Basith “prepared a magazine titled ‘Voice of Hind’ inciting Muslims against non-Muslims and exhorting them to rise against the Government of India and join ISIS”.
“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,” the chargesheet added.
Conspiracy to use CAA protests
The chargesheet said that Wani, Bashir, Basith and Sadiya were conspiring to utilize the anti-CAA protests to instigate Muslims against the 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,” it added. “In case these protests failed to provoke the Muslims, they were planning for arsoning of Government buildings and public property so that riots could happen and they could exploit the sentiments of Muslims.”
The NIA said the investigation also revealed that the accused “tried to make an improvised IED [improvised explosive device]” and were planning to carry out “mass-killings in crowded places” to further the activities of ISIS/ISKP in India.