Two Ayurveda doctors, both senior citizens, were arrested from north-east Delhi's Khajoori Khas and Chand Bagh areas on Wednesday afternoon and booked under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly planning and conspiring against the country, police officers said.
According to the police, the two accused — Israr Ali Khan, 61, and Mohd. Samoon, 70, — were members of the now banned Popular Front of India (PFI) and were allegedly involved in “delivering hate speeches and propagating anti-national activities”. They were booked at the Khajoori Khas police station for criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity among different groups and under various sections of UAPA.
The arrests were soon after the two accused came out on bail this week following their arrest on September 27 as part of multiple raids carried out across the country on PFI leaders and members.
While Mr. Israr practised at his clinic, also a diagnostic centre, near his house in Khajoori Khas, Mr. Samoon worked as a medical officer with the Central government till 2008, following which he applied for voluntary retirement. Their family members, requesting anonymity, told The Hindu that the two doctors have been "framed" in false cases in an "unnecessary act of targeting".
SDPI State head
Attending to patients inside the clinic situated in a narrow lane, Mr. Israr’s 30-year-old son, a homeopathy doctor, said his father recently became the State president of the State Democratic Party of India, an organisation widely thought to be the political wing of the PFI. Apart from his medical work, Mr. Israr was only involved in gathering and providing relief funds to victims of natural disasters, said his son.
“I don’t know on what basis they have arrested my father as he has never been a part of any illegal activity in his life, let alone plan a conspiracy against the country. As part of the SDPI, he has always been involved in relief activities and even during the pandemic, he provided financial assistance to those in need. He used to sit at the clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and everyone in the neighbourhood used to come to him with their health problems,” said Mr. Israr’s son.
He said around noon, at least a dozen police personnel in civilian clothes came and asked Mr. Israr to accompany them for questioning related to his involved in PFI's "anti-national activities".
"One of my sisters is a lawyer and I am myself a doctor. We belong to a well-educated family and none of us can engage in activities that are being alleged by the police. When I asked the police officers why my father was being taken away again, they told me that he gave a hate speech in our locality that promoted enmity between people. These allegations are baseless and my father is innocent," the son added.
Unwell since 2019
Mr. Samoon was arrested from his three-storey house in Chand Bagh. His son said Mr. Samoon has hardly been involved in PFI’s activities after 2019 as he has mostly remained ill and bedridden.
“Till three years ago, my father used to participate in protests as part of the organisation’s work and was mostly involved in relief activities. There was no planning of conspiracy against the government or the country and what they did was fight for the people’s rights. Later, he gave a written declaration to our area police station that he was not a part of any of PFI’s activities as he had developed a brain problem and become bedridden. This is the second time in 10 days that he has been arrested. What will they get by arresting an old man? He has done no wrong,” said Mr. Sammon’s son.