Tears roll down the cheek of 45-year-old Mohammed Basheer from Kotepura when he speaks about his 23-year-old son Arafat, whom he has not seen since November 18.
“Policemen just dragged him away from our house without informing us. They did not allow me to meet my son in the Bajpe police station. Now I see him being booked in a case of assault. I am perplexed over the turn of events,” he told The Hindu.
Mr. Basheer is shocked by the offence his son has been accused of. The arrest comes just a few days after he filed before the second Judicial Magistrate First Class seeking direction that his son be produced before the court. “We both earn our living by fishing, and we do not know much of the city. But the police say they arrested my son on November 25 near Navabharat Circle, which my son does not know. The police have falsely implicated my son,” he said.
Arafat is among the five persons arrested for their alleged involvement in the attempt to murder 28-year-old Bajrang Dal activist Ravi near Kandavar village on November 13. The police arrested Abdul Majid (27), Hanif (26), and Abdul Rehman (31) on November 21. They arrested Arafat and Abbas Ismail on November 25. Mr. Basheer showed the copy of a report filed by the police on November 25 seeking 15 days' remand of Arafat. In the report, the police said that Arafat had with him the mobile phone of Naushad, who was mentioned as the prime accused. Arafat was stated to have taken that mobile phone from his neighbour Thayif, who was stated as Naushad's friend. Thayif was stated to be using the SIM card registered in the name of Arafat.“They have arrested Arafat even before arresting Naushad and Thayif. Merely using a mobile phone and giving away his SIM card does not make Arafat an offender,” said Mr. Basheer's advocate Dinesh Hegde Ullepady. Mr. Basheer has approached the second JMFC for bail to Arafat. He has also asked for production of his son before the court for recording the latter's statement regarding the alleged illegal confinement. The court on Wednesday ordered the prison authorities to produce Arafat before it on Thursday.
Refuting the allegations, Commissioner of Police Seemant Kumar Singh said there was no question of “fixing” Arafat because of the petition filed by his father. He said the arrests had been made based on evidence gathered by the police. “All those who have the knowledge of the offence and have supported the act will be arrested. Arafat is one among them,” he said.