Chennai: Families of the two young men arrested in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram district for alleged links with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Islamist militant organization, have denied the police reports.
The police had arrested the two men after a group photograph of 26 men sporting T-shirts with the ISIS emblem went viral on Facebook since last week. Investigators claimed that the duo had distributed the T-shirts to celebrate the cause of ISIS.
In a small town called Tondi, Mohamad Fazil, father of Abdul Rehman, 26, one of the accused, claims "my son had actually ordered those T-shirts to celebrate ISIS's release of Indian nurses safely from the conflict zone in Iraq. But playfully, he had uploaded the pictures without knowing about the Indian Penal Code. The police is trying to make it appear as if he's a terrorist."
He added that his son was involved in cloth business in Thailand and Singapore.
However, not far away, the house of the other young accused, Rilvin, stands bolted shut. The police claim that Abdul Rehman used Rilvin to procure the T-shirts.
"Though the LTTE is banned, many in Tamil Nadu sport pictures of its chief late Prabhakaran on T-Shirts. It does not mean they have joined the LTTE. We feel we are being targeted as we are Muslims," said Sadiq Basha, secretary of the local Jamadh, defending the accused.
"Abdul Rehman who has studied only up to class 12 has been frequently visiting Thailand and Singapore for business on tourist visa during which he became a strong supporter of the ISIS," said a senior police officer.
This case comes days after the Mumbai police said that four men in the city had reportedly joined the ISIS group after reports emerged that they were missing.