Delhi

‘Was tasked with getting arms’

In the alleged disclosure statement of United Against Hate member Khalid Saifi, it is claimed that he had met controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in 2019 during his visits to “propagate Muslim religion”.

“I had visited Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore etc. to propagate Muslim religion in 2019. In Malaysia, I had met Zakir Naik, who is banned in India,” he is quoted as saying.

Facebook page

Mr. Saifi, in the statement, is claimed to have said that he started an NGO with a friend by the name of New Education Welfare Society for which an account in a private bank is running and that he withdrew ₹1 lakh in the beginning of February for protests. “Some funds were given to me by the Popular Front of India about which I’ve already told you,” he is quoted.

The document claimed that Mr. Saifi has stated that he knew former JNU student Umar Khalid since 2017 after which the two of them started a Facebook page by the name of United Against Hate. The two often discussed how the current government is anti-Muslim and after abrogation of Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir and Babri Masjid verdict, the anger grew and after the Citizenship Act came into effect, the hatred increased, the statement quotes Mr. Saifi.

Apart from Swaraj India’s Yogendra Yadav, advocate Prashant Bhushan, the document mentioned senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid as one of the members who delivered provocative speeches during the protests.

The alleged disclosure claimed that Mr. Saifi was tasked to arrange for arms and ammunition.

“For this (arms) purpose and to give some money to Tahir bhai (Tahir Hussain), I was given money by PFI’s Danish at their office in Shaheen Bagh,” he was quoted as saying adding that “Tahir bhai” was tasked to arrange for weapons and instigate the riots and his house was chosen because people from both communities reside around it.

Mr. Saifi is quoted as saying that the weapon recovered from one Aftab - who was arrested along with him and Ishrat Jahan – was provided by Mr. Saifi and that he had bought the country-made pistol from Meerut from one Sarfaraz for ₹5,000.

“I had also bought five country-made pistols for ₹25,000 which I had taken from Ishrat Jahan”.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 6:32:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/was-tasked-with-getting-arms/article32663922.ece

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