Friday, 22 January 2016

Inmates of "all religion" attack Indian ISIS sympathizer after Paris attacks

'We live in constant fear and get thrashed in jail after ISIS strikes'

By Sailee Dhayalkar |Posted 22-Jan-2016

Ansari allegedly planned to attack American establishments in India
Alleged Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) sympathiser Anees Ansari, who was arrested in 2014 by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), has claimed he was attacked by other inmates of the Arthur Road jail after the terror outfit attacked Paris in November last year. Ansari claims that post the Paris attacks, inmates from all religions attacked all the accused who have been jailed for ISIS-linked activities.

Ansari was presented before the Sessions court on Wednesday, which was hearing his discharge application. Speaking to mid-day, he said, “After the ISIS attack in Paris, I was assaulted by the other inmates. All the accused who are linked to ISIS were attacked. We have been living in constant fear since.”

The attacks occurred at Arthur Road Jail.

He added, “The people who attacked me were not specifically from one religion but all. But, I did not complain about the incident. I have been kept in a barrack which houses more than 100 people accused in murder cases.”
When asked about his brainwashing sessions with the ATS, he said, “No such sessions are conducted to brainwash us. They’re all rumours.”

Commenting on the degree he is pursuing from jail, Anees said, “I have taken admission for an MA in History but the atmosphere inside jail does not allow one to study. Also, you don’t need to study, all you need is just R2,000 and they will show you the answers.”

On Wednesday, defence advocate Sharif Shaikh, who is representing Anees Ansari was to argue on Ansari’s discharge application. But he sought for an adjournment and the matter will now be heard on February 8. After the defence, special public prosecutor Madhukar Dalvi would begin his arguments to oppose the discharge. Ansari’s bail application is also being heard in the Bombay HC.

Who is Anees
The ATS arrested Anees Ansari, a software engineer, in October 2014 after he was allegedly found chatting online about attacking American establishments, including a school in Bandra. According to the cops, Ansari is an ISIS sympathiser. He had reportedly applied for a passport just a month before the arrest, raising suspicions that he was about to join ISIS. He was booked under Section 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) read with 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and relevant sections of the IT Act. His lawyers had earlier told the court that he was of unsound mind and needed psychiatric help.

A local magistrate's court today rejected the bail application of the city-based software engineer Anees Ansari on the 8th of January 2015.
Earlier, the sessions court had rejected his bail application on December 22 last year. In the present application, Ansari had argued that as the murder charge was not applicable, the police should have filed  the charge sheet within 60 days, which they did not. "We had applied for bail on technical grounds but the court rejected the application," said Ansari's lawyer Sharif Sheikh. Advocate Sheikh also said he will move the Bombay High Court against the investigation agency's anti-terrorism squad for pressing the charge of murder even when Ansari had not killed anybody.

According to ATS, Ansari, whose office job involved making navigation maps, admired the middle-east terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). His online chats hinted at a plot to target the US establishments including a school in suburban Bandra, it says.

During the hearing, Sawant had told the court that Ansari had created bogus email and social networking accounts to instigate others to join him. He had reportedly sent pictures of Shia-Sunni clashes to his contacts on WhatsApp, to provoke them, and had sent over 100 emails to five of his friends, persuading them to join his group, ‘One man like one army’.

Sawant added that he was caught twice in his office for sending such messages, after which he had apologised. “One of his (Ansari’s) friends, who appeared as witness in this case, told the court about receiving WhatsApp messages with pictures of Shia-Sunni clashes,” said Sawant, who also told the court that Ansari had received a message on a social networking site with instructions for making a thermite explosive.

Further reading

ISIS admirer was planning Peshawar-like attack on Mumbai school

Daily Mail article on Arthur Road Jail

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