‘Azam does not even know how to operate a computer’

Hafeez Ahmed, father of Mohammed Azam who was arrested by the NIA, at his residence in Jaffrabad in Delhi on Thursday.

Hafeez Ahmed, father of Mohammed Azam who was arrested by the NIA, at his residence in Jaffrabad in Delhi on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma


Says father of terror suspect; kin question recovery of phones

“We don’t even have a television at home and can’t even pronounce ISIS,” said 82-year-old father of Mohd Azam (30) who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency as a terror suspect on Wednesday along with four others from Jaffrabad.

Hafeez Ahmed, who shares the name with father of another terror suspect Mufti Mohammed Suhail, said that the officers reached his son Azam’s residence, in the opposite building, around 5 a.m. “His [Azam’s] wife got scared and started crying. She called us and when we went, they were searching his house. They only took mobile phones of his and his wife. They then searched his medical shop and took a few Urdu books which were lying there,” the father said.

Ahmed said that Azam had studied till Class XII after which he started a garment business which he shut down about four years ago and opened a medical shop. He got married and has a five-year-old daughter. “He spent most of his time at home and work. He [Azam] doesn’t know how to operate a computer or laptop,” the father said.

The family, however, said that he knew Suhail as an acquaintance and spoke to him over the phone a few times. “We live close by and Azam runs a medical shop so Suhail used to come to buy medicines. Sometimes, he would call to ask for medicines also. Azam did not know any one else who were arrested,” the father said.

Amroha visit

Ahmed said the officers kept asking Azam as to why he used to visit Amroha to which he responded that his extended family was residing in Amroha.

As the officers took away Azam, the family was allegedly not informed that he was being arrested and they were only informed about the arrest around midnight by local police who came home to intimate the family.

Family of Rashid Zafar Raq, 23, who was also arrested from Jaffrabad lives with nine other members, said that that he was friends with Anas Yunus and Zubair Malik, two others who have been arrested.

“The officers raided for over 12 hours and took away all our mobile phones and an old laptop which wasn’t even in a working condition,” said Zafar’s sister-in-law Rehmat Riyaz.

‘Was absolutely calm’

Rehmat said that they questioned Zafar in a room for a few hours and he appeared absolutely calm.

The family said that he studied till higher secondary after which he quit studies and joined the family’s garment business. “Six months ago, he opened a retail outlet. If someone had such [terror] plans, why would he work for his future?” questioned Rehmat.

Zafar, Rehmat said, spent most of his time with his mother after his father’s death five years ago. He would sleep and eat with her also and share every little thing about his life, the sister-in-law said adding that the 65-year-old mother Shehnaz has still not come to terms with.

The doors of Anas’s house remained locked from inside till Thursday evening and the family refused to talk to anyone including neighbours.

A neighbour who refused to be named, however, said that he met Anas’s father on Wednesday night. “He was of the view that his child is being framed. We agree with him,” he said.

All the families The Hindu met unanimously raised questions about recovery of 91 mobile phones claimed by the NIA. The families said that the agency confiscated mobile phones of all the family members as well. “It is not like one of them was using five phones each,” they said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:22:36 AM |

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