Three cousins, who allegedly planned to join jihadi terror groups, were on Saturday picked up from India’s Nagpur international airport while on their way to Srinagar, months after they were put under watch for being influenced by online Islamic State (IS) propaganda.
Earlier reports said the three were arrested as they were planning to join IS.
Police said the three were rounded up in a joint operation by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad and Telangana Police at the airport when they were trying to board a morning flight to Srinagar after arriving in Nagpur from Hyderabad on Friday.
The youths, in their 20s, were counseled by police last year after they were caught while allegedly planning to join IS and had been under watch since then.
“They have a jihadi kind of mindset. They were going to Srinagar. But they do not have any connection with IS as of now. We do not know of anything which can suggest that they were in touch with IS people,” a senior intelligence official of Telangana Police told PTI.
“All three are being brought back to Hyderabad. Once we get them back, we will question them to check on their plans,” the official said.
“There is no case against the trio and they have not been arrested. They have been only picked up,” he said clarifying on reports that they have been arrested.
The youths are related to late president of Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) Syed Salahuddin, who died in a car accident in October in 2014 in Telangana.
Recently, four youths went ‘missing’ from suburban Malwani in Mumbai, allegedly lured by IS ideology. While two of them have returned home, two others are still untraceable.
Besides, a Pune-based 16-year-old girl, who was reportedly radicalized by her IS contacts abroad and brainwashed to go to Syria, was questioned by ATS sleuths earlier in December and sent to a de-radicalization program.
In May last year, four youths from Kalyan township in Thane district of Maharashtra had gone to Syria to join the IS. One of them, Areeb Majeed, returned and is currently in NIA custody while the whereabouts of the other three were not yet known.