RAMANATHAPURAM / MADURAI: The passports of two persons arrested for organising a mass photo session in support of extremist movement Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Ramanathapuram were seized by the police. The duo was produced before a court in Thiruvadanai on Monday night and was remanded to judicial custody.
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Sources said that Abdul Rahaman (24) and Rilwan (24), both from Thondi, were arrested under section 7 (1) (a) of the criminal Law Amendment Act (doing illegal activities and inducing others to engage in unlawful activities) read with section 120 (b) of the IPC on Monday evening. In a later development, the garment shop owner at Tirupur, who had printed the 100 T-shirts, was detained for questioning.
A senior police official told Express that the youth in the photo, wearing T-shirts proclaiming support for the ISIL, were not involved in any clandestine activity. However, police were collecting their antecedents for record purposes.
Ramanathapuram Superintendent of Police said that though ISIL was not a banned outfit in the country, the duo garnering support for the movement warranted investigation.
The arrests came in the wake of the recent post on a social networking site showing a photo of a group of 24 youth wearing black T-shirts proclaiming support for ISIL in front of a mosque at Thondi. Abdul Rahman had ordered 100 T-shirts from a garment seller on Kader Pettai street in Tirupur. The logo ‘We are all for ISIS (ISIL)’ was apparently designed by Rilwan, police said.
“Our action is aimed at preventing youth from drawing inspiration from such incidents and joining the ISIL, which is trying to recruit volunteers across the globe,” said an intelligence officer.
“During inquiry, Abdul Rahman bluntly accepted organising the youth in Thondi for the picture to express solidarity with the ISIL as part of Ramzan celebration,” the officer added.
Abdul Rahman reportedly told his interrogators that the ISIL had helped Indian nurses return safety and they were fighting for the Islamic Brotherhood. Abdul was of the view that his support to the movement and to the Palestinian people was not a crime. Abdul likened the incident to the support pro-Tamil outfits extended to the LTTE by wearing T-shirts with Prabahakaran’s photo on it, an officer said.
The picture was uploaded to a social networking site to express solidarity with the movement and share it with his friends, including those living aboard.
“However, once the photo was posted, it went viral, inviting comments like “We are ISIL terrorists from Thondi’,” an officer involved in the interrogation said.
Abdul Rahaman and Rilwan were produced before a Thiruvadanai court on Monday night, which remanded them in judicial custody till August 18. “We might push for the duo’s custody for inquiry,” the official added.