Mumbai: The special NIA court here on Wednesday dropped the charge slapped under UAPA on Arif Majeed, who was arrested on his return here from Syria where he had allegedly joined the terror organisation ISIS.
“Section 20 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (being a member of terrorist organisation) was dropped from the case,” said an official of the National Investigation Agency.
It would not make much difference as the maximum punishment under this charge as well as other remaining charges in the case is the same, which is life imprisonment, he added.
“In the present matter, the ISIS was not declared a terrorist organisation prior to February 16, 2015, (when the case was registered). So the charge against the accused for commission of an offence punishable under section 20 of UAP Act cannot be framed,” said judge V V Patil.
The 23-year-old man from neighbouring Thane landed in Mumbai on November 28, 2014, from Turkey, following which he was detained by the security agencies, and later arrested.
A case under sections of UAPA and section 125 of IPC (waging war against a country which has friendly ties with India) was registered against ISIS, Arif and three others.
According to police, these four engineering students had flown to Baghdad on May 23, 2014, as a part of a group of 22 pilgrims to visit religious shrines in Iraq.
Upon returning to India, other pilgrims told police that Arif, Fahad, Aman and Shaheen had gone to Fallujah.
On August 26, 2014, Shaheen Tanki called up Arif’s family and told them that their son had become a ‘martyr’ while fighting for ISIS in Syria. Arif’s family even performed ‘Janaza-e-gayabana’ (prayers for the departed soul in absence of the body) in Kalyan. However later Arif returned and was arrested.