NIA books Ganderbal youth Azhar for alleged IS links

NIA books Ganderbal youth Azhar for alleged IS linksThe National Investigation Agency has booked a youth from central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district for his alleged links with the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) organization.

Sheikh Azhar Al Islam (22) son of AbdusSattar of Prang area in Kangan Ganderbal was arrested along with Adnan Hussain from Karnataka and Muhammad Farhan from Maharashtra by the NIA on January 31 from New Delhi’s IGI Airport soon after they had arrived from the United Arab Emirates. “He (Azhar) has been booked for IS links and sent to a jail,” Inspector General of Police, (NIA) Sudhir Kumar Singh told over phone from New Delhi.

Singh who is also Public Relations Officer of the NIA, claimed: “The investigators have found his involvement with the IS.”

Azhar is the first youth from Kashmir who has been booked by the NIA for alleged links with the IS.

Sources in the NIA said Azhar along with two others was held for allegedly hatching a conspiracy to “identify, motivate and radicalize youth and train Indian citizens, both in India and other friendly countries, to join the IS.”

Azhar, according to his family, moved to the UAE on June 1, 2015 after he got a job in a hotel there. They had said the family compulsions forced Azhar to look for a job abroad.

“His mother underwent two surgeries and family has lot of debt,” his family members had said, soon after his arrest by the NIA. “Our ward is completely innocent.”

Police in J&K had said Azhar is not involved in any “subversive activity.”

“Our records maintain that he was not previously involved in any adverse activity,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Syed Javid Mujtaba Gillani, had told after Azhar’s arrest. “This is revealed in our preliminary investigation. We are carrying out further investigation.”

Pertinently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has time and again cleared that there is no presence of IS in J&K.

“At the grassroots, IS doesn’t have any leader or a commander in the State. Only a few people are downloading pictures of this organization from the internet and displaying it,” the MHA officials have said, time and again.