NIA detains key accused in forced conversion of woman
February 02, 2018  21:36
A man accused of forcing a Gujarat-based woman to convert and attempting to sell her off to Islamic State terrorists in Syria has been taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency, an official of the agency said today.

"Muhammed Riyaz Rasheed was intercepted at the Chennai airport on his arrival from Jeddah and we are examining him at Chennai," the official said in Kochi.

The development comes days after the NIA said it has registered a case against nine people hailing from Kerala and Bengaluru for allegedly being involved in forcibly convertingthe 25-year-old woman, who hails from Pathanamthitta districtof Kerala and is settled in Gujarat.

They have also been accused of involvement in attempting to sell her off to IS terrorists in Syria.

Rasheed, who also hails from Kerala, is the main accusedin the case.

He is expected to be produced before the NIA special court in Kochi tomorrow after the agency records his arrest.

The central government informed the Kerala high court four days ago that the NIA has taken over the probe into the matter and registered a case against nine people.

The Centre has said that it suo motu entrusted the investigation into the case to NIA in view of the seriousness of the alleged offence.

The NIA has filed an FIR before the special court in Ernakulam against the nine people under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

The nine have also been charged under various Indian Penal Code Sections for offences, including rape, forgery and forced religious conversion, the Centre has said.

The Centre's response was filed in an affidavit over a petition by the woman seeking an NIA probe into her alleged forced religious conversion and attempt to traffic her to Syria after marriage.  -- PTI
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