NIA arrests Bengaluru ophthalmologist on charges of developing apps to benefit Islamic State cadres

Abdur Rahman, 28, working at MS Ramaiah Medical College, is accused developing a medical application to help injured Islamic State cadres in conflict zones

FP Staff August 18, 2020 22:39:59 IST
NIA arrests Bengaluru ophthalmologist on charges of developing apps to benefit Islamic State cadres

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested an ophthalmologist in Bengaluru for allegedly being in touch with Islamic State operatives, reports said on Tuesday.

Abdur Rahman, 28, working at MS Ramaiah Medical College, is also accused of developing a medical application to help injured Islamic State cadres in conflict zones and a weaponry-related application to help further the terror group's activities in the country.

News18 reported that Rahman has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). He was taken into custody on Monday in connection with the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) case being probed by the agency.

The NIA has found that Rahman allegedly toured Syria, and visited an Islamic State medical camp in early 2014. Reports added that he stayed with Islamic State operatives for 10 days before returning to India.

After Rahman's arrest, the NIA carried out searches at three of his premises and seized digital devices, mobile phone, laptop containing incriminating material, NIA spokesperson Sonia Narang was quoted as saying by PTI.

The college where Rahman was studying "was taken aback by questions regarding one of their faculty members," News18 reported.

"He was admitted to the college in 2017 under the government quota, through the Karnataka Examinations Authority (conducted by the state government). The college is not aware of his activities outside the campus," the college said in a statement.

The ISKP case was initially registered by the Delhi Police Special Cell in March, 2020, after the arrest of a Kashmiri couple — Jahanzaib Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh — from the Okhla Vihar, Jamia Nagar area in the National Capital.

The couple had affiliations with the ISKP — which is an affiliate group of Islamic State — and were allegedly involved in subversive and anti-national activities.

PTI reported that they were also in touch with a member of the Abu Dhabi module of the Islamic State, Abdullah Basith, who was arrested in a separate NIA case and lodged in Tihar jail.

"During interrogation, arrested accused Rahman confessed that he was conspiring with accused Sami and other Syria-based Islamic State operatives on secure messaging platforms to further Islamic State activities. He was in the process of developing a medical application for helping the injured Islamic State cadres in the conflict zones and a weaponry-related application for the benefit of Islamic State fighters," Narang added.

Besides Rahman and the Kashmir couple, the agency had also arrested two Pune residents, Sadiya Anwar Sheikh and Nabeel Siddick Khatri, for allegedly being part of the conspiracy to further the activities of Islamic State /ISKP in India and to carry out subversive activities in the garb of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests.

With inputs from agencies

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