An alleged aide of controversial Indian cleric Zakir Naik has been arrested over accusations of recruiting youths for terror outfit Islamic State (Isis). Arshid Qureshi, reportedly a member of Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), was arrested by a joint team of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Kerala Police on Thursday (21 July) from a flat in Seawoods, Navi Mumbai, in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
Naik has been under the lens after some of the attackers involved in the recent Bangladesh cafe bombing said they were inspired by his preachings.
A case under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 153 A (promoting enmity between groups) as well as under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was registered against Qureshi in Kochi.
According to a Times of India report report, he was produced before magistrate's court in the Central Business District of Belapur, Navi Mumbai, on Thursday and remanded in transit custody for four days. Qureshi will be questioned by the Maharashtra ATS and later he will be taken to the south Indian state of Kerala.
Qureshi was arrested after Kerala police received a complaint from an individual named Ebin Jacob. According to the 25-year-old, he was taken to a library at Qureshi's house in Mumbai in 2014 and forced to convert to Islam. Jacob also made a complaint against his sister's husband Bestin Vincent alias Yahia with whom his sister, Merin alias Mariam, is missing. It is believed that both have joined 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," Kerala's Ernakulam ACP K V Vijayan, the investigating officer said.
The developments comes amid the investigations regarding the case of missing 21 youths from Kerala who are suspected to have joined IS (Daesh).