Delhi

Name was not on voters’ list, says Imam arrested for security breach

He was held in November 2018 for carrying live cartridge into CM’s residence

Mohd. Imran (39), a deputy Imam, who was arrested in November 2018 for carrying a live cartridge into Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, found his name deleted from the voters’ list when he went to cast his vote on May 12.

Names of kin in list

Sitting outside the mosque Bawli Wali in Karol Bagh, he said, “I don’t know why my name was not in the list. My entire family’s name was there and they were able to cast their vote. The person who had come to give the voter slips a few days before polling did not give mine. So I asked him and he said that I should take my voter ID card to the polling station but when I did, was told that my name wasn’t there”. Imran said that he has now been asked to fill forms to get his name back in the list.

Recalling the incident, Imran who was arrested under the Arms Act and was released on bail in January after spending 55 days inside Rohini jail, said that he had gone to meet the CM with a few other Imams and first submitted his mobile phone and pen as asked.

‘Security let me in’

Imran claimed that the security staff let him in despite being aware that there was a cartridge in his wallet. “Then we were told that we should get the wallets checked if we have. I submitted mine and they saw the cartridge. I explained that it was a mistake and the cartridge was given to me to throw it in the Yamuna but I forgot about it. They kept the wallet and let me in,” he said.

According to Imran, it was when he came back after meeting the CM that the officers “deliberated among themselves and told him that if the CM says it’s okay, they will let him go. “But when we went back to meet him again, we were told that he had left. The police were then called and I was arrested,” he said.

Talking about his time in jail, Imran said “it was just like a hostel and I was counselled by officials inside who told me to remain calm as it was my first time. They also said that I could hold prayers inside just like I do outside. So I used to conduct prayers for ward number 3 where I was lodged”.

Imran said that prisoners already knew who he was before he went inside, probably by way of newspapers, and they were kind to him.

‘No discrimination’

“Everyone called each other Bandhi (prisoner). Inside the jail, I faced no discrimination on religion. We all lived like one big community,” he said adding that while jails are nothing like what he heard outside, he hopes he doesn’t have to go back.

The first thing he did after being released from jail was asking his three daughters and son if they were treated differently because of his arrest. “They said that their teachers were very kind and nobody asked them anything even if they knew,” he said adding that he himself had lost self-confidence and was irked when people asked him about the arrest.

His neighbour Athar quipped, “The man who actually slapped the CM was released on bail in three days and it took them 55 days to release Imran”.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 3:58:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/name-was-not-on-voters-list-says-imam-arrested-for-security-breach/article27143011.ece

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