Jamia Nagar residents block Noida-Badarpur highway resulting in huge traffic jam

A large number of residents of Jamia Nagar in New Delhi protested on Wednesday against the arrest of Zubair Khan, whom the Crime Branch arrested on Tuesday from Kalindi Kunj Park on the charge of spying for Pakistan, by blocking the Noida-Badarpur highway for several hours resulting in a huge traffic jam in the afternoon. The crowd relented only after Additional Commissioner of Police (South-East) Ajay Chaudhry promised to take up the issue with the authorities concerned.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch Anti-Extortion Cell got two days’ police custody remand of Khan after producing him before the Tis Hazari court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Yaduvanshi. Khan has been booked under the Official Secrets Act.

In the remand application, the Crime Branch sleuths claimed that Khan, a resident of Kakrala village in Uttar Pradesh, was working for a Pakistani intelligence agency and was found in possession of secret documents relating to the Indian Army which were meant to be handed over to an official in the Pakistan High Commission

However, Khan’s family members said that he worked for a property dealer at Shaheen Bagh and have refuted the police claim of him being a Pakistani spy. The family has filed a complaint at the Jamia Nagar police station alleging that Khan’s arrest was illegal.

His brother Tayyab Khan said: “It is a completely shocking, unbelievable and baseless claim. It is unbelievable because anybody who knows my brother will know that he is a poor man whose only concern is to earn some money for his family.”

Local human rights activist who participated in the protest termed the arrest “a witch-hunt against Muslims”.

Syed Akhlaque Ahmad of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights said: “It is not an isolated incident. It seems to be part of series of illegal and baseless arrests of Muslim youths done by police. As per our information the local police was not informed before making the arrest, which is in violation of law. This only shows that law enforcement authorities have turned into violator of law.”

The remand application said that Zubair’s custody was needed to identify the person who had passed the documents to him.

ACMM Yaduvanshi in his order granting two-days remand against the police demand for five-day custody said: “As per the disclosure statement of the accused, custodial interrogation of the accused is required not only to apprehend the co-conspirators but also to interrogate him in detail to unearth the whole conspiracy pursuant to which the accused was stated to have been found in possession of documents which are secret documents pertaining to the Indian Army.”

(With inputs from Jiby Kattakayam)

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