New Delhi: The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has issued a fresh alert over suspected jihadi links of the youngest perpetrator of 2012 fatal gangrape in Delhi who was released in December as he was a minor when the crime was committed, sources told Mail Today.
Authorities in Uttar Pradesh have been advised to keep a close watch on his movements as the man, now 21, hails from the state’s Badaun district.
He ended his three-year term in a reform home six months ago after being held guilty along with five others for the brutal attack on a 23-year-old woman, dubbed Nirbhaya, in a case that prompted nationwide revulsion and turned global spotlight on crimes against women in India.
“Recently some activity was noticed and we informed the local authorities,” said an intelligence official, without saying anything about the man’s present whereabouts.
Before his release in December 2015, the IB flagged his proximity at the juvenile home to a Kashmiri inmate who was involved in the 2011 Delhi high court bombing. The two shared the same room for over a year and the cellmate allegedly indoctrinated him and prompted him to take up the cause of Kashmiris.
“There is no specific input but whatever assistance is required will be provided by us,” said Sunil Saxena, senior superintendent of police, Badaun.
CALLS FOR ARREST
Hundreds of people, including Nirbhaya’s parents, had staged protests in the Capital against the convict’s release with the campaign spurring Parliament to pass legislation lowering to 16 the age at which someone can be tried for serious crimes. His radicalisation was also pitched as one of the reasons to stop his release. The convict himself expressed fears that he may be lynched once he is set free.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy also approached the Delhi high court but the judges rejected his plea saying the sentence complied with existing law.
“Having regard to the fact that the maximum stay that can be directed in the Special Home under Section 15(1) of the Juvenile Justice Act is three years and that the convict would be completing the period of three years by December 20, 2015, there cannot be any direction to continue his stay in the special home beyond December 20. Hence, we decline to issue any direction as prayed by the petitioner,” the bench said while allowing the convict to walk free.
The Intelligence Bureau in its report prior to his release last year said that taking advantage of his proximity to the rape convict, the Kashmiri youth brainwashed him and motivated him to join jihad in Kashmir. As per the instructions of the union home ministry, the rape convict went through counseling sessions for de-radicalisation.
A trial court awarded the death penalty to the four adult accused in the Nirbhaya gangrape case for the gruesome act. The woman was sexually assaulted on a moving bus and sustained serious internal injuries after being violated with an iron bar during the attack.
The Delhi high court upheld the sentence and the matter is now pending in the Supreme Court. One of the five accused, Ram Singh, committed suicide in the city’s Tihar Jail three years ago.