The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Tamil Nadu police may be cracking down on the Islamic State (ISIS) but families of the five alleged accused claim that their arrests are "fabricated" and "politically motivated".
Denying allegations and any terror links with the jihadist organisation, the families of five men from Coimbatore were upset about the arrests made and said the Modi-led BJP government is doing this to create hostility between the Hindus and the Muslims.
'THE FABRICATED ARRESTS'
Two sons of an elderly couple living in Ukkadam area, known as Yacoobs, were arrested in a joint operation by the NIA and the local police for having alleged links with the Islamist extremist organisation and planning to launch terror strikes in the state of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Their eldest son, the 38-year-old computer graduate-turned-honey seller Sheik Hidayatulla, was arrested along with Mohammad Azharuddin, the prime accused and in-charge of the ISIS module in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
This was followed by the arrest of Sheik Shafiyullah, their younger son and a commerce graduate working as a medical sales representative, for allegedly plotting suicide attacks in Coimbatore, reports NDTV.
As per their families, both the brothers earned around Rs 25,000 per month. They have never visited any foreign countries or done anything unusual on the social media platforms, say the families.
WHAT NIA CLAIMS
The probe agency stated that Mohammed Azarudeen was a Facebook friend of Sri Lanka's Easter Sunday suicide bomber Zahran Hashim. The 32-year-old has shared radical content related to Zahran Hashim on social media platforms. A page named 'KhilafahGFX' was maintained by Azarudeen on Facebook, in which he had reportedly shared IS-related ideologies.
Azarudeen owns a tour and travel company in the city. Post his arrest, Azarudeen revealed that he befriended Zahran Hashim who led the National Tawheed Jamaath (NTJ) and was also the suicide bomber involved in the worst jihadi attack which killed over 250 people and injured 500 in the island nation.