Bengaluru: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bengaluru police has decided to seek prosecution sanction from the State government to charge sheet Islamic State Twitter handler Mehdi Masroor Biswas, the deadline, for which is fast approaching. Prosecution sanction is normally sought in cases where an individual is accused of trying to wage a war against a country and disturb internal peace.
A CCB officer speaking to a local daily said that “We need to file the charge sheet within the stipulated time and we will do that as the deadline of 180 days expires on June 11. Since it is a sensitive case, we have decided to approach the State government. We are waiting for prosecution sanction. We will file the charge sheet once the approval is given”.
They expect the sanction next week and the charge sheet will be filed soon thereafter.
Regarding the content of the charge sheet and whether the CCB would be able to prove the charges, the officer said: “We are trying to establish what we have been claiming from day one. We have mostly established our charges levelled against him. We are confident of proving that Mehdi was a propagandist of the ISIS ideology and had been instrumental in influencing minds of people.”
The CCB said that the charge sheet runs into about 24,000 pages and its content had been shared with the Central government.?The Centre has verified the documents and will finalise it in coming days, sources said.
Mehdi has been charged under IPC section 125 (waging war against any Asiatic power in alliance with the government of India), sections 18 and 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and section 66(F) of the IT (conspiracy and cyber).
CCB officers said they needed more time considering the huge quantity of digital content. “It’s the first-of-its-kind case and the police were dependent on digital experts and Twitter authorities. We needed to study every tweet posted by him. In fact, we took the technical assistance from third party to analyse the big data in the form of tens of thousands of tweets,” they added.
Biswas, 24, a manufacturing executive with ITC Foods, was arrested from a one-room rented apartment near Jalahalli on December 13 by the City police after Britain’s Channel 4 News aired the report on the presence of ISIS Twitter Ideologue @ShamiWitness.