‘ Our kids are not in lat­est IS video’

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Im­ran Fazal im­ran. fazal@ dnain­dia. net

The fam­i­lies of the two Kalyan youths, who have al­legedly joined ter­ror out­fit Is­lamic State ( IS), claimed on Fri­day that the new video re­leased by the group doesn’t fea­ture their chil­dren. The IS video was re­leased on Thurs­day.

Four Kalyan youths – Areeb Ma­jid, Fahad Shaikh, Sa­heem Tanki and Aman Tan­del – had left with 22 other pil­grims to visit shrines in Bagh­dad in May 2014, where they re­port­edly joined IS. Areeb Ma­jid was soon brought back to In­dia with the help of the Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency ( NIA), while Sa­heem Tanki died there, ac­cord­ing to the video. The two others are still there, and their fam­i­lies main­tain that they have not heard from them in the last 8 months.

It is be­ing sus­pected that the youths are play­ing a ma­jor role in re­cruit­ment of In­di­ans for IS. In the new video, which mainly tar­gets In­dian au­di­ence, speak­ers threaten to take re­venge for var­i­ous in­ci­dents on vi­o­lence in the coun­try, in­clud­ing the Godhra car­nage.

“We have seen the pic­tures and the video of a boat, with mil­i­tants armed with Kalash­nikovs. The speak­ers couldn’t be seen clearly as ev­ery­one had a beard and was wear­ing a tur­ban, but they did not re­sem­ble our kids,” said Naeem Tan­del, Aman’s fa­ther.

Iftikar Khan, Fahad Shaikh’s ma­ter­nal un­cle, said, “The pic­ture is not of Fahad. We have not heard from them for the last 8 months. It will be sad if they ac­tu­ally get in­volved in such acts, but the pic­tures are not theirs.”

Mean­while, highly placed sources in the ATS said, “We are ver­i­fy­ing the claims in the video. It seems the two youths are play­ing a ma­jor role for the In­dian mil­i­tant di­vi­sion of IS. They left two years ago, and their ap­pear­ance could have changed since then. But noth­ing is con­firmed as of now.”

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