Bengaluru, May 16: The high profile trial of Mehdi Masroor Biswas alias @shammiwitness accused of propagating on behalf of the ISIS will commence in Bengaluru next month.
The Bengaluru police which filed a 30,000 page chargesheet has its task cut out since this is the first trial in the country which concerns terrorism in the virtual world.
Mehdi originally from West Bengal was running a Twitter handle called @shammiwitness and through this he is alleged to have re-tweeted ISIS material.
The police in their arguments have described the Twitter handle as a meeting place for ISIS recruits and leaders.
A challenging case:
For the police in Bengaluru this case was a major challenge. Every tweet of his had been downloaded and placed in the chargesheet which runs into 30,000 pages. Proving a crime on the virtual world is always a challenge as many cops are not inept with such cases. However the Bengaluru police are confident that they have a strong case on hand.
Mehdi had argued that proceedings be dropped for a variety of reasons. He had stated that mere re-tweeting does not amount to an offence. Further he had also said that at the time he was arrested, the ISIS was not a banned outfit in India. Both arguments were negated by the court which directed conducting the trial which is expected to commence early next month.
The police on their part said that his tweets had helped many recruits reach either Syria or Iraq. They have a couple of tweets which suggest that Mehdi had helped recruits find a way to reach the ISIS camps. This is information and not a mere re-tweet, the police have argued.
Moreover, they also demonstrated before the court how his handle had become a meeting place for ISIS leaders and recruits.