A special court on Monday extended the custody of five alleged members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) as the Anti-Terrorist Squad had earlier extension for custody for investigate.
The five, including Mahar Khan, Sadiq Qureishi, Mohammed Iqbal Khan, Moinuddin Momin, and Aasif Khan, were produced before the court on Monday.
The ATS sought an extension of eight days' custody from the court after the previous custodial interrogation period of eight days ended on Monday. It told the court it needed their custody to examine their social media accounts, among other grounds. Regarding one of the accused-an advocate-Sadiq Qureishi, the ATS said he had received Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 40,000 from another co-accused in 2013.
On this, his advocate, Mohammed Ibrahim, told the court that the amount was taken as a loan as he was suffering from health issues and that it was later repaid. The ATS also alleged that Qureishi had organised legal camps and hence his custodial interrogation was required.
Advocate Ibrahim argued that providing legal aid or organising such camps are not terror activities and that the prosecution is portraying it as an illegal activity.
The ATS also informed the court while seeking advocate Qureshi’s custody that he had travelled across the country and suspected it was for terror activities.
His advocate told the court that Qureshi, being an advocate, was travelling to research the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), meeting lawyers and accused persons over it. He said Qureshi had also submitted his research to two organizations, which had in turn used it to challenge UAPA in their petitions before the apex court.
Last Monday, while seeking their custody for investigation, the ATS told the court that it needed to probe their links with the terror organisations Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS). On Monday, it made no mention of any probe findings on this aspect while seeking further custody.
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