Hizb ut-Tahrir case: 2 more picked up by MP ATS, Hyderabad cops

Hyderabad: At least two persons were picked up for questioning by a joint team of Madhya Pradesh ATS and Telangana police in connection with the Hizb-ut-Tahrir case on Monday.

The ATS team brought the six people Mohammad Saleem, Abdur Rahman, Mohammad Abbas Ali, Sheikh Junaid, Salman, and Mohammad Hameed, who were arrested on May 9, in an early morning operation by Intelligence Bureau, counter intelligence of Telangana police and Anti-Terrorism Squad of Madhya Pradesh police. All of them were later taken to Madhya Pradesh and produced in a court in Bhopal.

The ATS split into smaller teams and joined by the Hyderabad police Task Force and counter-intelligence sleuths took the six persons to different areas as part of their investigation into the case. Some persons who are known to them were picked up and questioned at undisclosed locations.

The MP Police has registered a case under sections 13, 17, and 18 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and other relevant sections. A special court has remanded them to ATS custody till May 19.

Three of the persons who were detained in the operation are revert-Muslims. One of them is well known for his Islamic classes and actively involved in helping new revert Muslims in administrative matters. He was also on the radar of the Telangana police and central law enforcement agencies.

According to various agencies, HuT has avoided global scrutiny radar while spreading its ideology and was becoming a more dangerous ‘terrorist group’ than ISIS. India had input from global security agencies about its expansion plans. The HuT is alleged to have a support base in nearly 50 countries.

Founded in Jerusalem in 1952 and headquartered in London, the group has branches in Central Asia, Europe, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, where it has managed to garner great influence, say agency reports.

In South Asia, HuT has a significant presence in Pakistan and Bangladesh. HuT claims to have organized a demonstration in 2010 at Batla House in Delhi in protest against Israel’s alleged atrocities. This was said to be one of the last reported HuT activities in India, according to security experts. The detained individuals are being questioned for more details.

Although the state of Madhya Pradesh has formulated laws against ‘forced conversions’ the Constitution of India upholds the right of individuals to practice and propagate the religion of their choice.