The accused are members of a telegram channel run by the official media center of the terrorist organization Al-Hayat and supporters of jihad, the police said in a statement.
Shivamogga District Police said their investigation into the stabbing of a youth in the district in connection with Independence Day celebrations revealed that the defendant followed Islamic State (IS) ideology and knew how to make bombs.
The three accused, Shariq, Maaz Muneer Ahmed and Sayed Yaseen, were members of a Telegram channel run by Al-Hayat, the terrorist organization’s official media hub, police said. Police also said the accused were pro-jihadists and wanted the establishment of the caliphate and the enforcement of Sharia law in India.
The trio were arrested in connection with the stabbing of 20-year-old Prem Singh during Independence Day celebrations in Shivamogga. He was stabbed after clashes broke out over the hanging of banners bearing images of Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar and 18th-century ruler Tipu Sultan. In the course of the investigation into the stabbing, the Doddapette Police Station investigator had produced a report alleging a conspiracy to “promote the terrorist activities of ISIS and disrupt the unity, security and sovereignty of the country, illegal possession of explosives, endangerment.” public property and life and the burning of the national flag of India.” This had led to the arrests of Shariq, Maaz and Yaasin. You have been booked in accordance with the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
According to police, the first accused, Shariq, used various social media platforms to spread “extremist” propaganda. Along with the second and third defendants Maaz and Sayed Yaseen, Shariq is said to have conspired to engage in terrorist activities. They allegedly stored explosives for this purpose.
The police statement also said the defendant had fabricated a bomb using locally sourced materials and successfully conducted an experimental demolition at Kemmangundi in Shivamogga. The defendant learned the bomb-making process through digital footage shared by Shariq. Police said they bought batteries, switches, cables and matchboxes from Shivamogga and timer circuits from online retailer Amazon. The cost of this was covered by cryptocurrency sent to Yaseen by Shariq.
The defendants also burned the national flag at the site of the experimental bomb blast a few days later and filmed it with their mobile phones.
Police claim they found evidence in the case through simultaneous searches at 11 locations in Shivamogga, Mangaluru and Thirthahalli, the statement said. The homes of the accused and their families were searched. Electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, dongles and USB sticks were confiscated. Police also found remains of the experimental bomb blast, materials needed to make bombs, and a half-burned national flag.