Two brothers arrested by Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) for their alleged links with international terror outfit Islamic State (IS) have been remanded in police custody for 12 days by a local court in Rajkot where they were produced by the agency on Monday.
In the remand plea, the ATS told the court that the two “confessed to being in touch with IS handlers on social media platforms to plan a terror attack.”
ATS counsel told the court that “the accused admitted to have learnt bomb-making techniques from literature which was supplied to them by the IS handlers, who encouraged them to plan a major terror attack targeting some religious place in the State.”
Seeking their custodial interrogation, counsel argued that the agency wants to know how they established contact with the international terror outfit and also whether there are other ‘sleeper cells’ active in the State or anywhere in the country.
The brothers, Wasim Arif Ramodia and Nayim Arif Ramodia, are well-educated, with one of them holding a master’s degree in computer application.
They were arrested late on Saturday night from Rajkot and Bhavnagar respectively.
The agency claimed that the arrests were made after keeping them under surveillance for more than a year. According to ATS deputy superintendent of police (DySP) KK Patel, the two were under the squad’s watch for more than a year.
“The two were in touch with their handlers through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Telegram, an encrypted messaging app. We have seized their computers and lots of incriminating documents,” Mr Patel told the media on Sunday while announcing their arrest on Saturday late night.
However, despite the police claims, their father, Arif Ramodia, a retired cricket umpire from Saurashtra University in Rajkot, feigned ignorance.
“I have no idea about their alleged activities and I don’t know if the allegations are true or false,” he said, adding “our family reputation built over the years is taking a beating after their arrests and serious allegations by the police.”
This is the first time In Gujarat, the police have arrested two persons having alleged links to the Islamic State (IS).