Forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ inside Tihar, ‘ISIS man’ tells court

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New Delhi: An alleged ISIS member arrested for planning suicide attacks and serial blasts across the country, approached a Delhi court on Wednesday claiming that he was beaten up by other inmates in Tihar jail and forced to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

The accused, Rashid Zafar, was arrested in 2018 on the allegations of being member of an ISIS-inspired group who were planning suicide attacks and serial blasts, targeting politicians as also government installations in Delhi and other parts of north India.

Advocate M S Khan claimed in the application, which is likely to come up for hearing on Thursday, that the incident was disclosed by the accused to his father telephonically from Tihar Jail.

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The accused was beaten up and forced to chant religious slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ by his inmates, the application said.

The plea, moved by advocate Qausar Khan, requested that appropriate directions may be passed to the Jail Superintendent to look into the matter”.

The accused were arrested along with nine others in December 2018 after NIA carried out searches, in coordination with Special cell of Delhi Police and Anti-Terrorism Squad of Uttar Pradesh Police, at six places in Jafrabad, Seelampur in Delhi, and 11 places in Uttar Pradesh — six in Amroha, two in Lucknow, two in Hapur and two in Meerut.

The searches and the arrests came a month before the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

According to NIA, a locally-made rocket launcher, material for suicide vests and 112 alarm clocks to be used as timers were recovered from the searches.

The agency also said it recovered 25 kg of explosive material — Potassium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate and Sulphur.

The group allegedly had also purchased remote control cars and wireless doorbells to use their circuits in assembling remote-controlled improvised explosive devices.

Besides, the NIA also recovered steel containers, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, 3 laptops, knife, sword, ISIS-related literature during the searches.

The probe agency had initially rounded up 16 persons of the group ‘Harkat ul Harb e Islam’, which loosely translates into war for the cause of Islam.

Of the 16 detained, 10 were later arrested – five from Amroha, in UP and five from Seelampur and Jafrabad localities in north-east Delhi, the agency had said.