Telangana Police today said they are investigating into “reports” claiming that firebrand separatist leader Asiya Andrabi had visited the state earlier, and denied that three youths, arrested recently for allegedly planning to join jihadi terror groups, had ever met her.
There are some unconfirmed reports which say that Andrabi may have come to Hyderabad earlier and Telangana Police are trying to confirm it, state Director General of Police Anurag Sharma told reporters here.
“It is learnt that she may have visited, but there is no confirmation (on it) as such. We are trying to investigate on that part. Once we investigate, then only something can be said,” Sharma said.
“Unless we confirm that, we will not be in a position to say definitely,” he said, addressing an annual press conference.
Three city-based cousins – Mohd Abdulla Basith, Maaz Hasan Farooq and Syed Omer Farooq Hussaini – were arrested by the Hyderabad police on Sunday for allegedly planning to join jihadi terror groups and ISIS.
Police yesterday said that the three youths aspired to meet Andrabi, using the name of their late uncle, former chief of Students Islamic Movement of India Syed Salahuddin.
Andrabi is a leader of the separatist Kashmiri women’s group Dukhtaran-e-Millat.
After reaching Srinagar, the trio wanted to meet her using their uncle’s name and seek her help to cross the border and reach Jalalabad in Afghanistan, police had earlier said.
Asked specifically if Andrabi had met the three youths, the DGP denied it, saying, “No…No…They have not met her…Definitely (sure).”
Reacting to a query on if the Jammu and Kashmir Police had asked for information from their Telangana counterparts on the matter, Sharma said, “They have not asked us anything…We are also investigating in parallel. Once we know something we have to counter it. When we have something concrete definitely (we can proceed further).”
On being asked if police had plans to put Andrabi’s name in the FIR registered against the three youths, he said, “I have said very clearly, we are investigating the whole matter. Once we come to know the facts and confirm them, then only I will be able to say anything with authenticity.”
When further asked if police may question her during the course of investigation in the case, the Telangana Police chief said, “Let us investigate the matter first and then only I will be able to give an answer.
The three youths, all students (aged around 20-22), were
picked up from Nagpur airport last week and arrested by Hyderabad police on December 27.
During the interrogation, they confessed to holding jihadi ideology and said they were trying to go to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Palestine via Kashmir to join jihadi forces of ISIS/ISIL to wage war against the state (India or elsewhere), according to police.
The three have been booked under IPC section 121 (waging war against the government) and relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.