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ISIS operative arrested by NIA turns out to be Karnataka Congress leader Thajuddin Sheikh’s son: Details

Thajuddin Sheikh, the accused's father is the general secretary of the Brahmavar Block Congress in Udupi. He is reportedly a close aide to former Karnataka CM and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, KPCC president DK Shivakumar, and UT Khader

On Thursday, January 5, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at six locations across Karnataka in the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Shivamogga, Davanagere and Bengaluru in connection with the Shivamogga ISIS conspiracy case and arrested two ISIS operatives, Reshaan Thajuddin Sheikh of Udupi district and Huzair Farhan Baig of Shivamogga district.

Now the counter-terrorist task force has confirmed that one of the arrested ISIS operatives, Reshaan Sheikh is the son of Karnataka Congress leader Thajuddin Sheikh.

According to the statement issued by the NIA, Reshaan Thajuddin was radicalised by Maaz Muneer, who is his close associate and collegemate. Maaz Muneer was arrested by the agency in September last year. Reshaan Thajuddin Sheikh and Huzair Farhan Baig received funds from their ISIS handler through Crypto-wallets for furthering the terrorist activities of the Islamic State in India.

“As part of their larger violent and disruptionist designs, they also indulged in arson and targeting of vehicles and other establishments, such as Liquor shops, Godowns, transformers etc,” the NIA said.

Thajuddin Sheikh is the general secretary of the Brahmavar Block Congress in Udupi. Thajuddin Sheikh is also reportedly a close aide to former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah, KPCC president DK Shivakumar, and UT Khader. Thajuddin is, notably, from Dakshin Kannada’s restive region, which has, over the years, seen terrible communal murders and conflicts.

Interestingly, a day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested terror suspect Reshaan Thajuddin Sheikh from Varamballi, in Brahmavar, Udupi, photos of the accused’s father with Congress leaders are going viral.

Thajuddin Sheikh with DK Shivakumar (source: TOI)
Thajuddin Sheikh with former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah (Source: India Today)

For the uninitiated, the case was initially registered at Shivamogga Rural Police Station on September 19, 2022, and then re-registered by the NIA on November 15, 2022.

In September, two persons Maaz Muneer Ahmad (22) of Mangaluru and Syed Yasin (21) were arrested for their alleged links to the banned terrorist organisation Islamic State. In the same case, Mohammad Shariq was a suspect and he was on the run from the police.

Notably, Mohammad Shariq is the same ISIS operative who was involved in the blast that took place in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru on Saturday, 19th November 2022. He was arrested by the Karnataka police on Sunday 20th November 2022.

BJP slams Congress for the terror links

Following the arrest of the Congress leader’s son for his alleged link with the ISIS, BJP MLA Raghupati Bhat launched a scathing attack on the grand old party.

“He is already been arrested and is being questioned further. There is worrisome information in the investigation. There should be a thorough investigation of the coastal region. These kinds of activities are happening for a long time in coastal regions and we have emphasised the same even during hijab protests. After the pressure cooker incident these kinds of incidents are emerging in the coastal region, and it is getting more aggravated here. NIA should give special focus to this region,” the BJP leader said.

“Therefore, when these kinds of Congress leaders get involved in these kinds of activities, Congress have to take the onus of it. Now Congress has to give answers since Tajuddin’s son has been arrested in terror activities,” the BJP MLA added.

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