Bengaluru, June 1: A chargesheet running into 36,986 pages has been filed against Mehdi Masroor Biswas alias @shammiwitness before a court in Bengaluru on Monday, June 1.
The Bengaluru police had a few months back arrested Mehdi Masroor Biswas after it was found that he was running the twitter handle @shammiwitness which was promoting messages of the ISIS. [I haven't done anything wrong, says @shamiwitness]
The chargesheet which has voluminous documents attached to it which include his tweets and other communication with alleged ISIS sympathizers accuses Biswas of being an influential person on the web and his activities aimed at instigating war.
Mehdi Masroor Biswas originally a resident of West Bengal was working in Bengaluru. He was nabbed from his home in Bengaluru on December 13 2014 after a British News channel exposed.
124,000 tweets analysed:
The chargesheet filed against Biswas is a voluminous document. It has nearly 36,986 pages along with annexures which also includes the 124,000 tweets sent out him by and also re-tweeted by Biswas under the handle @shammiwitness.
The chargesheet accuses Biswas of instigating war. It says that through his tweets he influenced several persons. Many persons who read his tweets were influenced to join the ISIS and there are cases of several Indians from Maharashtra too who had fallen trap. [Bengaluru man who handled ISIS's Twitter account worked in a food company]
The chargesheet says that he had used the handle @shammitwitness to praise the work of the ISIS. The manner in which he tweeted and re-tweeted was systematic and he went on to become one of the most influential men on the social media for the ISIS.
His tweets not only influenced the youth in India, but also brainwashed several others in the West to join the ISIS. He had regularly sent out tweets and also posted gory beheading videos and went on to become the mouth piece of the ISIS.
Out of the 1 lakh plus tweets, 15,000 were directly linked to the ISIS. In these tweets he defended the actions of the ISIS. Some of the videos which were sent to him were tweeted. However the rest were all re-tweets. The police in the chargesheet also mention that he had also used a handle @ElSaltador.
The Kashmir connection:
The 24 year old Biswas has been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA. The UAPA has been slapped against Biswas after the Government of India had banned the ISIS under this act.
Banning a group under the UAPA means that any association with that group becomes a punishable offence. Biswas has also been booked under Section125 of the Indian Penal Code (waging war against the government of any Asiatic power in alliance with the Government of India).
The police has also brought in a Kashmir link to the case. In some of the tweets he had appreciated the efforts of jihadis in Kashmir.
While defending the jihadis in Kashmir as freedom fighters, he had termed them a martyrs in an attempt to glorify them. He had further tweeted that Indians are the aggressors in Kashmir. He also would refer to Kashmir as India Occupied Kashmir.
The most difficult chargesheet the Bengaluru police have filed:
Investigators have said that this is probably one of the most difficult chargesheets that they have ever filed. It was difficult to file this case in the first place as at the time of his arrest, the ISIS was not banned under the UAPA in India.
This makes it very difficult since the offence has not been committed against India. However the case began to move after the Government of India banned the ISIS under the UAPA.
Investigators say that this was a difficult chargesheet to file since the work was laborious. First and foremost all the 1 lakh plus tweets had to be downloaded and analysed. His laptop and phones had to be analysed as well.
One of the officers who investigated the case says that they have a very strong case on hand and also added that they had found videos, audio messages and pictures relating to the ISIS on his laptop which was 1.5 GB.
Home Ministry nod was sought:
Prior to filing of the chargesheet the Bengaluru police had to seek an approval from the Union Home Ministry to prosecute him. This was necessary as the case related to the outfit which has been banned under the UAPA.
The MHA had last week given its approval only after a panel comprising retired High Court judges had reviewed all the charges. This is a sensitive case and not just concerns India.
He had played a significant role in brainwashing people from other countries especially Britain.