The Kerala police in a joint operation with the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad arrested a alleged member of the Zakir Naik 's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) for recruiting Kerala youths for the Islamic State (IS).
The Indian Express reported, the sources said that, the man identified as Arshi Qureshi. He was picked up from his Navi Mumbai residence and placed under arrest. He has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The Kerala police registered the UAPA case last week, which follows a missing person’s complaint registered by the family of Merin alias Mariyam at the Palarivattom police station in Kerala. The family has alleged that Mariyam, a Christian who converted to Islam, was radicalized by her husband Yahiya and Qureshi and forced to join the Islamic State, the complaint mentioned.
"As per the statement, Qureshi insisted that Ebin should embrace Islam and join IS. It was Bestin who compelled Ebin to come to Mumbai and meet Qureshi," Ernakulam ACP K V Vijayan, the investigating officer, had said.
DCP, ATS, Dhananjay Kulkarni, said that, “In a joint operation undertaken by Maharashtra ATS and Kerala Police, a raid was conducted in Navi Mumbai area in connection with an UAPA case registered with the Kochi police station. One accused was arrested. Kerala Police will take further action in the case.”
“Qureshi was arrested on Wednesday night and produced before a special court in Sewri in Central Mumbai for transit remand. The court granted the same,” confirmed a senior official.
According to an IRF spokesperson, Qureshi was with the organization, but denied allegations of radicalisation. “He doesn’t remember introducing them to Dr (Zakir) Naik or even meeting them at the IRF office. If any assistance is sought, IRF will provide it,” said the spokesperson.