In a crackdown on suspected ISIS (Islamic State) modules across the country, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids in six states, including at Bhatkal and Deoband, with officials stating that incriminating documents have been seized. The investigations into the activities of the banned group were conducted after a case was registered suo moto by the agency in June. The NIA said that it conducted searches in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
“The case was registered suo motu by the NIA on June 25 under sections 153A, and 153B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 18, 18B, 38, 39 & 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Further investigations are in progress,” NIA officials said.
The massive operation was carried out at 13 premises across the states, with searches conducted at Bhopal and Raisen in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar’s Arariya district and Kolhapur and Nanded districts of Maharashtra.
The agency also raided the hotbeds of terror activities like Bhatkal in Karnataka and Deoband in Uttar Pradesh. The biggest crackdown seems to have been on dispersed modules in Gujarat, with four locations — Bharuch, Surat, Navsari and Ahmedabad — being searched by NIA.
Officials have not yet shared details of the number of arrests made or the nature of evidence seized during the raids.
The NIA has investigated several cases related to ISIS in the past, with the last being registered in March 2021 against a Kerala-based module that was using social media platforms to recruit and radicalise youth to carry out targeted killings. Members of this module (at least seven were booked) under the leadership of Abu Yahya had planned to undertake a mission to carry out terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prior to that, in September 2020 a Bengaluru module of ISIS was busted by NIA, with four individuals being arrested for radicalising youngsters to travel to Syria and take part in Jihad. This module had also raised funds for the travel.