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Why the Islamic State-Asiya Andrabi probe needs to be re-opened

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    New Delhi, July 10: Back in 2015, when three persons were arrested by the Hyderabad police in an Islamic State related case, they had said that the help of Kashmir separatist Asiya Andrabi was sought.

    Why the Islamic State-Asiya Andrabi probe needs to be re-opened

    The arrested trio said that they had sought help from Asiya Andrabi and even decided to meet her in Kashmir. They wanted her help to cross over into Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

    A chargesheet in this case was filed in 2017 by a Special Investigation Team. However Asiya's name was dropped for want of evidence. The police would now re-visit the case and send a team to New Delhi, where Asiya is in the custody of the National Investigation Agency.

    The three youth, Abdul Baith, Maaz Hassan and Syed Omar Farooq were arrested while trying to flee to Syria. They had planned on boarding a flight to Srinagar, meet Asiya and then seek her help to cross over into PoK. They felt that they should first go to Pakistan and then make their journey into Syria.

    Also Read | How state patronage helped Asiya Andrabi get away with her anti-India agenda

    During the interrogation, Abdul Basith said that he had decided to use his uncle's name while meeting Asiya. His uncle, Salahuddin, a former president of the Students Islamic Movement of India had died in a road accident at Nalgonda recently. The funeral was incidentally attended by Asiya.

    Officials say that it may be be hard to find a direct link in this case. However the fact that they had decided to seek her help to cross over into PoK is an indicator that she has powerful contacts across the border. Her association with Hafiz Saeed of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba is a well known one. She may have been using that influence to help others cross over into Pakistan, officials say.

    The Islamic State has been making attempts to set up shop in Kashmir. The recruits have very often used Kashmir as part of their propaganda material to lure youth into the outfit.

    Shafi Armar, who is believed to be in Syria would often tell recruits about the Kashmir battle and how they need to fight for the cause. They were gradually moving towards the Kashmir separatists in a bid to seek their help and set up shop in Kashmir.

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