Even as India has been bracing at the news of a Delhi couple with ISIS links that had allegedly planned to carry out a suicide attack in Delhi, a link between the couple and NDTV has emerged.
NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan regularly interacted with a Twitter account that was run by Jahanjeb Sami (husband) and Hinda Bashir Beg, the couple that was arrested by the Delhi police from south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. According to sources, the couple was in contact with the ISIS unit from Afghanistan’s Khorasan province and they were allegedly planning to carry out a suicide attack in Delhi.
The couple ran a Twitter account called Kashmir Intel (@kashmirosint), which claimed to provide stories from Kashmir, India and Pakistan.
NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan regularly interacted with the Twitter account. While the tweets from the account are now deleted, Nidhi Razdan’s tweets to the account still remain. Nidhi Razdan had first publicly responded to the account on 1st October 2019, saying “Never part of the bill.” On 9th October, Nidhi Razdan had said “Good luck” to the account, and also added a heart-in-the-eyes emoji. She also seemed to be discussing Kashmir politics with the account. On 16th October, she said “Whether their careers have ended or not is for people to decide democratically”, which is perhaps a reference to detained Kashmiri leaders. Several of the other messages indicate a high degree of friendliness, with Razdan having said “haha”, and shared laughing emojis with the account several times. She also discussed politics with the account — on a message on 9th February, Razdan had said “Must be because of Afzal Guru anniversary.” The last interaction between Razdan and the account was on 6th March, the day before the couple that ran the account was arrested. She had said “Thank you,” and had added a happy emoji.
Two days later, the couple that ran the account was arrested.
The couple was instigating anti-CAA protests,” ANI news agency quoted Pramod Singh Kushwaha, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell), a saying.
Sources quoted by ANI said that Sami came under scanner due to his activities on cyberspace which revealed his intention to carry out suicide attacks in the country. He was in “association with senior ISKP members in Afghanistan”. He was earlier also in contact with Khurasan-based Huzaifa Bakistani (Amir of Wilaya Hind who has since been killed).
During his interrogation, Jahanzaib Sami revealed that he was actively involved on various social media platforms calling on the Indian Muslims to unite and fight against the Indian establishment in protest against the CAA legislation, sources said.
Sami also revealed he was trying to arrange firearms and ammunitions for his planned activities against the CAA. Sami told Police that he was actively involved in the propagation of recently published IS magazine `Sawt al-Hind’ (Voice of India) in the month of February 2020.
Sami has also revealed that one of his close associates, Khattab, was in fact Abdullah Basith who is currently lodged in Tihar jail as an undertrial in ISIS-related cases.
Meanwhile, his wife Hina was also active on pro-IS social media platforms under the name of Catijah al Kashmiri/Hannabee and played a role of facilitator in spotting talents on cyberspace and further motivating them.
This isn’t the first time that strange links between NDTV and terrorist outfits have emerged. Just last week, a video which showed NDTV journalist Vishnu Som with an Osama Bin Laden doll on his desk had gone viral. In the past, NDTV has also often refrained from calling terrorits as terrorists, but has used euphemisms like “members”, “workers” and activists.