Kin of couple held for ‘IS links’ swear by their innocence

The family in Srinagar’s posh Shiv Pora locality of the couple arrested by the Delhi police for alleged links to the Khorasan module of the Islamic State (IS) links swear by their innocence.

“They got married five months ago. Both are professionals. My brother was associated with a United Kingdom-based information technology company. The reason behind shifting to Delhi was the prolonged Internet shutdown. The allegations of their links (with IS) are fictitious,” said Sehrish Sami, sister of Jahanzaib Sami Wani, who along with his wife Hina Bashir Beig were arrested from Delhi’s Jamia Nagar on March 8.

Jahanzaib, who passed out from a missionary school in Srinagar, has been studying and working in many parts of the country, said his sister.

After finishing a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication from Punjab’s Ferozepur, he went on to pursue his MBA degree from Bengaluru.

His dream start-up project, Walursol, fell victim to the prolonged shutdown of 2016 in the wake of militant Burhan Wani’s killing in an operation by security forces. “Unhappy with the situation at home, my brother moved to Delhi in August 2019,” said Ms. Sami, surrounded by consoling relatives.

While arresting the couple, Delhi Police’s Special Cell had said they were involved in inciting protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and were in possession of “objectionable material”. DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said the couple had moved to Delhi from Srinagar in August 2019.

The family claimed Jahanzaib’s is a case of mistaken identity and the Delhi police did not bother to inform the family “as per law”.

Ms. Sami said her brother returned to Kashmir for his wedding on October 6, 2019 and returned to the Capital with his wife on October 26.

“We were told by neighbours that the police came looking for another person in the Delhi apartment. In fact, my sister-in-law volunteered to accompany her husband. Why would she accompany him if she was involved?” said another relative.

Ms. Beig, 36, also a professional with a degree in finance management, has been questioned by the police about her sudden decision to “use purdah”, the family claimed.

She used to wear Western clothes not long ago when she worked in a private company. The police have even traced her pictures on Facebook in Western outfits, claimed the family.

Another family member said both of them are “religious” and abide by Islamic tenets such as reading the Koran and offering prayers. “How is that a crime?” the family member said.

“They were planning to return home following the restoration of Internet. All allegations are a farce,” said Jahanzaib’s sister.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 5:00:39 PM |

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