“I feel let down by my son”

Father of one of the four youths allegedly recruited by the Islamic State, says the law should take its own course with his son for any crime he may have committed

December 01, 2014 12:12 am | Updated November 17, 2021 01:46 am IST - Mumbai:

Tanvir Sheikh, father of Fahad, one of the four youths allegedly recruited by the militant organisation, Islamic State, says the law should take its own course with his son for any crime he may have committed.

The National Investigation Agency has already arrested an alleged IS recruit, 23-year-old Arif Majid.

“We have learnt that Majid was arrested upon his arrival in India and know that our son too will meet the same fate. We want him to cooperate with the agency and not hide any facts. We will not interfere,” Tanvir Sheikh told The Hindu . Tanvir is emotionally overwhelmed and is still trying to come to terms with the fact that his son has joined a terror outfit.

“He had got a job offer from Kuwait with a salary of Rs. 3 lakh, but he ignored that and instead took up arms. Now what happens to his future?” he asks.

The four youths — Aarif Majid, Fahad Shaikh, Amaan Tandel and Saheem Tanki — hail from Kalyan tehsil in Thane on the outskirts of Mumbai.

On May 25, they left along with 40 others, by an Etihad flight to Baghdad on a pilgrimage. On May 31, they called for a private taxi which dropped them at Mosul and are believed to have joined the IS.

All of them have been booked under Section 125 of the IPC (waging a war with an Asiatic ally) and certain Sections (16, 18, 20) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The last time Fahad spoke to his family was in August. Like Majid, Fahad too had expressed his desire to return. Mr. Sheikh says with a heavy voice: “I don’t speak much with him, only his mother does and they both keep sobbing.”

“I am a patriotic person. None of my other family members has ever committed an offence or been called to a police station for an inquiry. I feel let down by my son. He had a bright career ahead of him but he took advantage of our love and betrayed us,” says the disturbed father.

Mr. Sheikh holds the Internet responsible for his son’s extreme action.

“It is now an established fact that he also got indoctrinated online. I just want to make a request to the security agencies to filter such radical content so that the youth with an impressionable mind don’t fall victim to such hate propaganda.”

When asked if his family will forgive Fahad, the distraught father says: “Baap ka dil paththar ka ho sakta hai, par aap batiye ek maa kya kare ? [A father can be stonehearted, but what will you tell his mother?]”

Corrections and Clarifications

This article has been corrected for a factual error

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