New Delhi, July 21: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) earlier this week filed a chargesheet against several people in an ISIS related case. Out of the 18 the NIA investigated, two persons were granted pardon by the court after they turned approvers.
The two who were granted pardon are Mohammad Abdul Ahad from Bengaluru and 19 year-old Ashik Ahmed from West Bengal.
An approver is an individual who aids the investigation after confessing to the charges levelled against him. It is the discretion of the court to grant such people pardon. Ahad's case is however a strange one. He was apprehended for the second time in an ISIS related case.
The approver who was apprehended twice
Mohammad Abdul Ahad is the same person who, along with his family, had been detained by the Turkish authorities. The 48 year-old green card holder had gone to Turkey in 2014 alongwith his family and had attempted to enter Turkey when they were apprehended.
They were in custody for 23 days before being deported to India. After his return, Ahad got in touch with some ISIS sympathisers. According to the NIA, he was inducted into the Indian arm of the ISIS which was known as the Junood-ul-Khilafa-Fil Hind, following which he stayed in touch with the sympathisers.
The motive of this outfit of which Ahad was part of was to establish the Caliphate in India. The NIA had carried out a nationwide crack down and arrested several people in December 2015. Further investigations led to the arrest of Ahad in January this year.
Ahad, originally hailing from Bengaluru in Karnataka, had a master's degree in computer science from a university in California through a correspondence course. After working in the US for a decade he was given a green card.
Ashik Ahmed is the second approver in the case. Hailing from Hooghly district in West Bengal, the allegation against him was that he helped the ISIS set up modules in the state. Further the NIA also stated that he had helped the other members of the module touch base with arms suppliers from Bangladesh.
Intelligence agencies keep a close watch
NIA and Intelligence Bureau officials point out that even if people are pardoned or let off after counselling a close watch will be kept on them. They would always be on the radar. Officials in India have very often counselled the youth who attempt to join the ISIS and let them off.
However, in the aftermath of the Paris attack, there is a general sense of alert on all such people. In Paris it had been found that one of the accused was a part of an ISIS camp in Syria. He had returned to France and staged the attack in Paris.
IB officials tell OneIndia that there is a close watch on persons who have been counselled. Even in the case of the returnees, there is very high surveillance. It has been found in several cases that returnees pretend to be on the right path so that when the heat is off them, they can strike.
"We are not taking any such chances," the officer said.