Mother of Kerala youth who allegedly left to join ISIS, turns hostile

According to a report, a key witness in the case against Islamic research foundation’s manager Arshi Qureshi for influencing youths to join ISIS was declared hostile by a special court after she refused to support the prosecution’s case after earlier deposing before a special court in Malayalam. Ayesha Majeed, a mother of three, hailing from Kerala, denied telling the crime branch about any involvement of her son with Arshi and IRF.

Ashfaque Majeed was alleged by the police to have fled the country along with his wife, one-year-old toddler daughter and other youngsters in 2016 to join the ISIS Terror ranks. Ashfaque’s father, who runs a lodge in Mumbai had filed a missing person’s complaint when he was unable to establish any contact with his son for several days. Serious allegations of radicalizing youth and instigating them to join ISIS have been levelled against Arshi Qureshi, a religious preacher.

While Qureshi was arrested, the NIA let off the other two — Maulana Haneef and Rizwan Khan — as no evidence was found against them. Qureshi, along with absconding accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla, who worked in a Kerala school were named by the NIA in its charge sheet. Qureshi is facing trial under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

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Earlier, in her deposition before a special court in Malayalam, which was translated in English, Ayesha Majeed had admitted that whenever his son spoke with his friends who went along with him to join ISIS, he suggested them to solicit advice from ‘Arshi Bhai’. Now she has retracted on her statements. She has also denied telling police that when she asked her son who is funding his trip to Srilanka for his studies in Holy scripture, Majeed allegedly replied, “All expenses will be borne by Arshi Bhai from IRF.”

Majeed was cross-examined by special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves after she had been declared hostile. She replied in affirmative when asked if his son has informed her of him joining the ISIS.

Qureshi’s defense was represented by advocates Pathan Tehwar Khan and Ishrat Ali Khan. When asked if she had herself attended the call and spoken to her son. In reply, Majeed said she had not.

Based on the testimony and evidence it gathered, the NIA had filed a 4000-page charge sheet in February 2017 in the missing Ashfaque Majeed case. According to the NIA, Ashfaque and others who fled the country were indoctrinated by proselytizer Arshi Khan and IRF, responsible for instigating and motivating them to join the ISIS.

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