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Kalyan youth with ISIS links arrested, grilled by NIA

New Delhi: Arif Majeed, a Kalyan based civil engineering student who had reportedly left Maharashtra six months ago to join terror outfit Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, returned on Friday.

Majeed, who suffered severe injuries, was not allowed to fight by the IS leadership, sources said, adding that he had a bullet injury and another wound suffered during an air strike.

According to sources, Majeed managed to flee to Turkey on the pretext of seeking treatment, and his sudden disappearance led to a suspicion that he had been killed. Twenty three-year-old Majeed told intelligence officials that he was drawn towards IS through a website, which had a phone number for those who wanted to join the terror group.

Sources said Majeed made a call to the number, saying he want to be part of the group and was asked to travel to Iraq by the terror outfit. "Majeed arranged money on his own for his travel and reached Baghdad.

He was taken to Mosul where he underwent intensive indoctrination for 25 days," said an official. Sources said he was told by the terror group that he could take up important duties related to administration so that his skills in civil engineering could be put to use. However, he reportedly insisted to be part of the militia.

As Majeed was being interrogated National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials on Friday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) brought out a notification, allowing the probe agency to register a case. Sources said a case under various IPC provisions and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), which attract imprisonment between five years and life, are expected to be registered against him. "We want to take a lenient view and make sure that he is booked for slightly softer charges. We don't want to put sections that attract only life imprisonment and death sentence," a home ministry official said.

The official said even lighter section could be invoked at the time of filing the charge sheet against him. "A soft approach needs to be taken in this case to ensure that others don't hesitate to come back. On their return, they should be rehabilitated," said a government official.

Majeed and three other youths from Kalyan joined the Sunni jehadi group earlier this year when they travelled to Iraq on a pilgrimage. Aman Naeem Tandel, Fahad Tanvir Shaikh and Sahim Farooq Tanki are the other men who are still stuck in Iraq. Intelligence agencies have gathered information that all three are in touch with their families and want to return to India.

The other three men, who have been fighting for IS, want to come back. However, they are still trapped in southern Iraq- an IS stronghold.

Sources said if they could somehow manage to get out of this area and reach Baghdad, Indian authorities would facilitate their return.

The NIA had earlier sought permission from the home ministry to register a case against IS, and later the Intelligence Bureau (IB) recommended a ban on the terror group active in Iraq and Syria after gathering inputs that the outfit was making efforts to recruit youth from India and use them to carry out attacks across the country.

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