After the Pune bomb blast and reports of 18 Indian men including four boys from Kalyan joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) security agencies have become alert in Mumbai. Police have beefed up security across the city during the ongoing holy festival Ramzan. Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has asked the Crime Branch and Anti-Terrorism Cells to increase vigil and stay alert during the Holy month of Ramzan.
- Security tightened on the occasion of Ramzan
- Four boys from Kalyan join ISIS in Iraq
- Bomb blast in Pune
- Maria asks Crime Branch to increase vigil
As per the report these youths are part of the 18 Indians learnt to be fighting in Iraq and Syria and are being tracked by intelligence agencies. They have been identified as Areef Majid, Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, Aman Naim Tandel and Shaheen Farooqi Tanki — all young men in their twenties, with no known past involvement in radical Islamist politics.
According to reports, the Mumbai Police Commissioner has written a letter to all units of the Crime Branch and the ATC, which also mentions Iraq-based outfit ISIS.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria is believed to have written the letter few days ahead of the Pune blasts last week. The letter holds significance in the light of reports that four men from Mumbai had recently joined ISIS. Three of them were engineering students, where as one was working at a Call Centre.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray asked the Maharashtra government to take this matter seriously and take the necessary action.
“The newspaper report is a very serious issue and the state government should take appropriate action in the matter. The government also kept quiet in the Ishrat Jahan (encounter case) matter. Will the state government act in this case at least?” Uddhav asked.
Sources within the security establishment say most of these 18 hails from south India. Some of those who have been identified belong to Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is not known whether any of them has returned but such exodus from south India has become a cause of concern for the agencies.
The four Kalyan men flew to Baghdad on May 23 as part of a group of 22 pilgrims intending to visit religious shrines in Iraq. Arif called his family from Baghdad on May 24, apologising for having left without telling them. He claimed he had travelled in the hope of finding a job there. Then, he phoned again on May 25, this time to reassure his family he was well.
Ejaz Badruddin Majeed father of Arif claims that his son had left a handwritten letter at home saying “fighting has been enjoined upon you”.
In a letter, Arif told his family that “he is going to Allah’s Land” adding further said,” May we all will meet in paradise.”
Giving message to his mother through the letter he said, “The sun is setting in the backyard of our house, behind the mountain and I have told my friend that we will meet there for our greatest journey. It is a blessed journey for me because I don’t want to live in this sinful country. At the time of my death, the angel of death will ask me why I failed to migrate to Allah’s land, which is spacious.”
In his letter, Arif further added, “I cried when I saw you all sinning, smoking cigarettes, taking interest, watching TV, illegal sexual intercourse, living luxurious lives, intermingling of sexes, not praying, not growing beards. These things will lead to you burning in the hell-fire.”
Arif’s father said, “He was a good boy. He was very religious, never spent time in bad company, never chased after girls, never seemed attracted to violence. The responsible people need to be held guilty for brain washing my son. I request all the parents to keep watch on their son, so that they can be safe.”
ISIS chief Abubakr Al-Baghdadi, who recently declared himself as the Caliph of Islamic State (as the group is now known to be in pursuit of establishing a Caliphate in West Asia), has asked Indian Muslims to wage war against the nation in an audio message.
A low-intensity blast triggered by an IED planted in a bike parked in front of a police station in the Pune city on Thursday left four persons injured, one of them a police constable. Authorities had not ruled out involvement of a terror group in the incident.