Mehdi was no troublemaker, paid rent regularly: Houseowner

Mehdi was no troublemaker,  paid rent regularly: Houseowner

Sujatha Apartment at Ayyappanagar in Jalahalli here, from where the Islamic State (IS) Twitter account handler Mehdi Masroor Biswas was arrested on Saturday, witnessed heavy police patrolling on Sunday.

Mehdi was staying in a rented, single-room flat at the apartment. “There is no additional security deployed, but our men are patrolling the area,” said the jurisdictional police inspector.

Considering the sensitivity of the case and threats received by DCP (Crime) Abhishek Goyal on his Twitter account, the patrolling policemen have been directed to look for any movement of suspicious elements, said the police.

Good reputation

Mehdi had earned a good reputation in the neighbourhood. “He was one of the decent chaps in the apartment as he always minded his own business,” Rehmath, who runs a provision store in the area, said. In fact, the local residents were shocked to hear the news of his arrest. Many are not even willing to buy the theory that he was operating the Twitter account for Islamic State. “Mehdi rarely interacted with neighbours. He was never seen engaged in a tiff. He would go to office and return. He used to come out only when needed,” Dhananjaya, a resident of Sujatha Apartment, said.

Some residents of the building and its owner Srinivasaiah said they were shocked when the police contacted them to know about Mehdi. “I did not know how to react when the Central Crime Branch police told me that I had rented out a flat to a person who is into IS activities,” Srinivasaiah said.

He claimed that he had verified all documents provided by Mehdi before renting out his house a year ago. I decided to let him move to A-14 from A-29 as he said that his parents would frequently visit him. His parents had visited Bengaluru a year ago. He found A-29 to be too small as it has one room with a bathroom.

He decided to move into

A-14 as it is slightly bigger, Srinivasaiah said. “He was never a troublemaker and paid rent regularly. All his documents were genuine,” he said.
Srinivasaiah suggested Mehdi’s parents to rush to Bengaluru when his mother called him up. The parents’ efforts to contact Mehdi had failed as his mobile number was switched off. 

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