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ISIS had planned to intrude JNU stir and set vehicles ablaze

He told me that a student movement is happening in the country and that we should enter and put vehicles, oil tankers on fire

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Islamic State (IS) insurgents
Islamic State (IS) insurgents , Wikimedia Commons

By Akanksha Sharma

ISIS recruits in India tried to take the advantage of the student movement that raged in several cities after the arrest of JNU union president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges.

On February 19, when Kanhaiya was behind the bars of Tihar jail and several students were protesting and demanding the release of Kanhaiya, ISIS’s Ahmed Ali asked 19-year-old Ashiq Ahmed aka Raja of Hooghly, West Bengal to intrude the movement and burn vehicles and oil tanks with petrol.

This has been unveiled in the statements of three recruits of India’s ISIS wing — Junud al Khalifa-e-Hind (JKH) —Ashiq Ahmad aka Raja Mohammad Abdul Ahad and Mohammad Afzal.

Their statements, made under Section 164 of CrPC, was exclusively accessed by TOI. The statements of three IS members have been recorded for the first time by any agency.

The NIA concludes that the idea was to further stir the students and make the situation even more chaotic. Their testimony proves the creation of JKH and their meetings in Tumukur and Bengaluru (Karnataka), West Bengal and Punjab.

Ashiq told NIA that Ahmad Ali, who claimed himself the boss of Ansar-ut Tawhid fi Bilad al-Hind (AuT), contacted him through his ID on Trillion App on February 19.

“He told me that agencies are keeping a tab on us. He told me that a student movement is happening in the country and that we should enter and put vehicles, oil tankers on fire,” Ashiq revealed.

Agencies doubt that Ali and Shafi Armar, the leader of ISIS department in India is the same person who is believed to have died in a recent US drone attack.

Related Article: New President is hoped to thwart emergence of ISIS in Philippines

NIA captured Ashiq on February 22, AuT is connected to ISIS and the outfit opened JKH in India and planned to have a unit in every state, as claimed by Bengaluru- based Ahad.

Ashiq told that he was asked to ”learn spying, swimming and drawing maps”, and that their first target would be “Shias”, while they also planned to “free former IM chief Yasin Bhatkal from jail”.

JNU campus. Image source: Wikipedia
JNU campus. Image source: Wikipedia

Ashiq further said that “When I asked Ali for a pistol and sent him a picture of a temple near my place (in Hooghly) where we could have carried out a blast to impress him, he told me that we will not do anything small,”

Ashiq, who was studying mechanical engineering, said he was attracted towards ‘Jihad’ since his girlfriend broke up with him citing the reason that she couldn’t leave her religion for him. “I was thinking of changing my religion and then going to her parents,” he said.

Ahad said that he “was against the idea of jihad as he wanted to help poor people of Muslim community, which was not JKH’s plan”. Ahad was a science graduate from US . Before joining ISIS he worked in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

He further said “In December 2014, I visited Turkey as I wanted to go to Syria and see the reality on the ground. I was looking at the possibility of opening an NGO to help the victims of war but I was deported to India.”

(Inputs from TOI)

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    The rising intolerance in India is definitely dangerous. It is not only disturbing the National normalcy but is also giving advantages to external groups to threaten our National security

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Facebook to Bring Specific Tools to Boost Election Engagement

Both the new tools are being made available in 12 local languages across India

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

Social-networking site Facebook on Tuesday launched two new India-specific tools — “Candidate Connect” and “Share You Voted” — to boost civic engagement on its platform during the general elections that commence in April.

While “Candidate Connect” will help people learn more about candidates, the “Share You Voted” will provide people with polling information and enable them to announce and celebrate their vote, the company said in a statement.

“We have more than tripled the team working on safety and security to 30,000 people, introduced unprecedented transparency requirements for political advertising, improved our ability to detect and remove fake accounts and stepped up our efforts to fight false news and misinformation,” said Samidh Chakrabarti, Director, Product Management for Civic Integrity, Facebook.

Facebook, Data
A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Starting next week, voters in India, either through a bookmark in their settings, or through a message in their News Feed would be able to watch 20-second videos of candidates contesting from their respective constituencies.

The company said that the questions included in “Candidate Connect” are outcomes of locally conducted consumer research programmes.

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“We aim to better equip our users as they look forward to participating in the political process of the country,” Chakrabarti further added.

Both the new tools are being made available in 12 local languages across India. (IANS)