Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's aide arrested for allegedly recruiting youth for IS

Qureshi was associated with IRF Foundation run by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik (in photo), said police. Photograph:( Getty )

WION Mumbai, India Jul 22, 2016, 06.27 AM (IST)
A joint team of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad and Kerala Police arrested a youth in India yesterday allegedly associated with controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's foundation in connection with a case registered in Kochi in India's southern Kerala state.

A senior police official said Arshid Qureshi, who was associated with Naik's IRF Foundation, was nabbed from Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra in western India.

Qureshi was held after the police raided a flat in Seawoods, reported The Times of India.

According to the report, Ebin Jacob (25), the brother of Merin alias Mariam, who is missing along with her husband, Bestin Vincent alias Yahia, from Kerala, had told police that there was an attempt to forcibly convert him to Islam and make him join the Islamic State. Ebin had told Kochi police that Bestin and Qureshi were behind the attempted conversion.

A case under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and 153 A (promoting enmity between groups) as well as under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was registered in Kochi. He was produced before the Belapur court in Navi Mumbai which granted Kerala Police his transit remand till July 25.

Kerala Police will now produce him in a court in Kochi.

At least 21 youth from Kerala have gone missing in the past one month and their families suspect they may have joined the Islamic State. The families of the youths, including a couple, have not heard from them for the past one month and fear that they have been radicalised after having gone to West Asia for religious studies.