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NIA gets custody of six suspected IS activists in Kerala

Kochi : A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here on Monday sent six youths — suspected to be activists of Islamic State — to the NIA’s custody till October 14.

These youths — all aged below 30 — were arrested from north Kerala on Sunday. While five were picked from a remote location in Kannur, the sixth was held from Kozhikode.

The National Investigating Agency told the court that these young men were part of a 10-member group, which the central agency was tailing for a while.

The NIA also told the court that it will probe whether the arrested accused had any role with respect to 21 persons, including women and children, who earlier went missing from Kerala and were now a part of the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

One of the arrested men had returned from Qatar 10 days ago. His wife and sister denied he had anything to do with the IS terror outfit.

“I don’t think he has got anything to do with any terrorist organisation,” said his wife, while his sister asserted her brother was not into such illegal acts.

The relatives and friends of the other accused too expressed surprise over the development.

Relatives of another accused, employed in a media organisation as a computer graphics expert, said he had left home a week go by saying that he was going on a short trip with his friends.

The NIA has charged the accused under law provisions dealing with criminal conspiracy, waging or attempting to wage war against the government etc. and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The NIA claims to have seized digital evidences pertaining to chats and messages the arrested had sent or received.