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Tamil Nadu: NIA conducts searches at several locations in connection with terrorist outfit Hizb-ut-Tahrir, arrest Abdul Rehman and Mujibur Rehman for indoctrinating youths

Abdul Rehman also known as Abdul Rahman and Mujibur Rehman alias Mujibur Rahman Altham Sahib have been booked on charges of holding classes to indoctrinate young people in radical beliefs and to portray democracy, the constitution, the legal system and the judiciary as anti-Islamic.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 30th June conducted multiple raids across Tamil Nadu including Chennai, Tiruchy and Erode among others in connection with their investigation into a banned ISIS-affiliated terrorist organisation, Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT). The agency arrested two terrorists identified as Abdul Rehman also known as Abdul Rahman and Mujibur Rehman alias Mujibur Rahman Altham Sahib on charges of holding classes to indoctrinate young people in radical beliefs and to portray democracy, the constitution, the legal system and the judiciary as anti-Islamic.

The trainees were instructed to transform India from Darul Kufr (Land of Non-believers) to Darul Islam (House/abode of Islam). The agency recovered digital devices (cell phones, laptops, SIM cards, memory cards) and various incriminating documents, including printouts and books with the ideologies of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Khilafa, Islamic State and the envisaged Khilafa administration and its financial systems from them.

An official press release read, “The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday arrested two persons after extensive searches at 10 locations in five districts of Tamil Nadu in the Hizb-ut-Tahrir case. The arrested accused are members of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an international pan-Islamist and fundamentalist organisation which is working to re-establish an Islamic caliphate and enforce the constitution written by Hizb-ut-Tahrir’s founder Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani.”

It further added, “They have been identified as Abdul Rehman @ Abdul Rahman and Mujibur Rehman @ Mujibur Rahman Altham Sahib, both from Thanjavur District. NIA investigations revealed that they were involved in conducting secret classes to radicalize youth in extremist ideologies, promoting democracy and the Indian Constitution, law and judiciary etc as anti-Islamic.”

The notification informed, “The trainees were taught that India was now Darul Kufr (Land of Non-believers) and it was their duty to transform it into Darul Islam by establishing an Islamic state in India by waging violent jihad. Today’s searches led to the seizure of digital devices (mobile phones, Laptop, SIM cards and memory cards) and several incriminating documents, including books and printouts containing the ideology of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Khilafa, Islamic State and proposed Khilafa Government and its funding structures etc. Investigations in the case RC-01/2024/NIA/CHE are continuing.”

The case was filed against the culprit for sharing derogatory content on Facebook, according to the Thideernagar Police Station in Madurai. Afterwards, it was transferred to the NIA, which re-registered it on 15th April to conduct a thorough investigation into the situation. A search was carried out at Kabir Ahmed’s Mudichur house in Chennai. A police source stated that the search started at five in the morning and went on for more than two hours. Furthermore, searches were executed in Tiruchy, Kumbakonam, two locations in Erode and other areas. The venues targeted by the authorities were believed to be associated with the Hizb-ut-Tahrir group. Six individuals were detained in Chennai last month on suspicion of having ties to the outfit and were charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

In 2021, after conducting searches at several locations in Tamil Nadu, the NIA made an arrest related to the Madurai Hizb-ut-Tahrir case. Mohammed Iqbal, the person who was apprehended, posted offensive things on his Facebook account “Thoonga Vizhigal Rendu is in Kazimar Street” to make fun of a certain religion and fostered communal disharmony, disturbing law and order. The case was first brought in Madurai under several counts of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 13(1)(b) of the UAPA Act.

A supplemental charge sheet was filed by the NIA in March 2022 against two accused named Ziyavudeen Baqavi, a resident of Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district and Bava Bahrudeen, also known as Mannai Bava from Mannargudi in Tiruvarur district. The investigation showed that they were HuT members and were involved in radicalizing and enlisting naive youth to create an Islamic State and impose a draft constitution penned by HuT founder and radical Islamic preacher Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani.

It was reported that Bava Bahrudeen and Ziyavudeen Baqavi were arranging gatherings to enlist new members and holding secret classes to radicalize, indoctrinate and incite youths to strive toward the creation of an Islamic State by toppling the Indian government. Moreover, they planned to use social media sites like Facebook and YouTube to create new cells in other regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu to propagate HuT’s ideology.

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