Suspected IS' India recruiter was told to leave religious school in Sri Lanka

Indian investigators suspect Abdul Rashid Abdulla to have recruited 21 Indian from India's southern state of Kerala to join Islamic State. (Representative image) (Image courtesy: Flickr) Photograph:( Others )

New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 12, 2017, 04.06 AM (IST)

A man, suspected to have recruited 22 Indians to join Islamic State, was asked by Sri Lankan authorities to leave a religious school for apparently fomenting religious cleavages, according to India's anti-terror agency.

India's National Investigation Agency filed a charge sheet against Abdul Rashid Abdulla in which it records statements of three men who were instigated by him to join the Middle East-based jihadist organisation, Sri Lankan news agency Daily Mirror reported.

The charge sheet contains statements from 49 students against Abdulla and Islamic Research Foundation's guest relations manager Arshi Qureshi. Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation was outlawed by the Indian government last year under anti-terror laws.

Rashid, who studied engineering, was a preacher from Thrikkaripur in India's southern state of Kerala. Some people, including a few parents of those Indians who joined IS, blame Rashid for influencing their sons to join the dreaded militant outfit.

Daily Mirror quoted a witness statement in the charge sheet as saying that following a heated argument about the meaning of jihad, one of the teachers at the school told Rashid: "Jihad is to fight with bad elements of your own self, Jihad does not mean fighting and killing innocent people."

"After the debate, Navas Sheikh (the teacher) told them to leave the campus at once. On the same day, the group left the campus," the statement further read.

Although not much is known about Rashid, Indian investigators say he joined IS in the Middle East with his wife Ayesha and their two-year-old child.