4 youth arrested in Bandipora over ISIS links

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SRINAGAR: Four youths were arrested by special operation group (SOG) of police in connection with alleged links with ISIS in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Thursday.

Official sources told news agency GNS four youths were arrested for questioning by SOG Bandipora in separate raids since last week. All the four persons were under the surveillance of the central intelligence agencies and they accordingly appraised their counterparts here in Jammu Kashmir Police about the case.

The arrested persons were identified as Waqar Khan of Panzigam, Bandipora, Ashiq Hussain Dar son of Ghulam Ahmad of Handwara, Rizwan son of Mohammad Shafi of Shogpora, Handwara and Zeeshan Kalwal of Rainwari, Srinagar.

Sources said that Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) from Utter Pradesh (UP) arrived yesterday to Bandipora and they questioned all the four persons in connection with their alleged ISIS links.

However, sources said that investigators found that the youth used to share ISIS related posts on social media and preliminary investigations suggest that there was nothing ‘concrete’ against them.

SSP Bandipore Sheikh Zulfikar Azad, when contacted, confirmed the arrests of the group of four people and said the persons are being questioned.

“We have picked the youths with regard to their social media posts including WhatsApp,” SSP told GNS, adding that so far it seems the case is a minor issue.

SP said that though the case is not so strong, however, being an ISIS-related case it has to be investigated properly.

All the arrested persons are around 25 to 30 years old and will face action under relevant sections of law keeping in view the gravity of the case, SSP said.

Asked whether ATS questioned them, the officer responded in affirmative.

“They were questioned for half an hour,” SSP said. (GNS)