The NIA on Thursday arrested the main recruiter of Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT) terrorist group for allegedly radicalising vulnerable Muslim youths to establish an Islamic state and enforce a constitution written by a radical preacher, an official said. Ziyavudeen Baqavi of Tamil Nadu was arrested by the premier investigation agency.

The case pertains to the conduct of secret 'bayaan' classes by members of HuT, an offshoot of ISIS, a proscribed terror organisation, for radicalising youths to establish an Islamic state or caliphate and enforce the constitution written by radical Islamic preacher Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani, the NIA official said. Al-Nabhani is the founder of HuT.

The case, which was originally lodged in Madurai, was re-registered by the NIA and taken up for investigation in April last year. Earlier, two accused were arrested in the case. Baqavi is the leader (Nakib) of HuT for Thanjavur, Madurai, Erode and Salem districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry, the official said. He is one of the main recruiters for HuT and he preached about the importance of the Islamic State, Khilafah in the general 'Bayaans' at places across Tamil Nadu, the NIA official said, adding that further probe in the case continues.