2 arrested in Goa for distributing IS pamphlets released

Panaji, Jan 3 (IANS) Two persons, who were arrested in Goa for distributing pamphlets with IS written on them, were released by the district administration on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here, Superintendent of Police (North Goa) Umesh Gaonkar also said that verification of their antecedents had not revealed any terror links.

He added that the content of the pamphlets seized from them on Monday night was in fact anti-Islamic State.

“They are closely involved in Salafi activities and believe in true Islam. The pamphlet in Kannada language, in fact condemns IS. Because it was in Kannada, we did not realize it immediately. It was later verified by a Kannada translator,” Gaonkar said.

The duo, Ilyas U (34) and Abdul Nazir (24) hail from Kasargod in Kerala and were arrested by the police on Monday after residents of Panaji suburb Dona Paula saw them carrying pamphlets with the words ‘IS’ on them, along with text in Kannada language.

Gaonkar said that the duo were canvassing for a Salafi conclave due to be held in Mangalore later in January.

He added that Ilyas has been living in South Goa’s Margao town for some years and has been a regular at the state’s only Salafi mosque, also located in the same town.

“They are both brother in-laws and they were travelling along with their family in Goa. They had gone to Dona Paula for sight-seeing, when they were apprehended by the locals, who saw them with the pamphlets,” Gaonkar also said.