Bicycle repair mechanic for Darbhanga, IM recruiter for Delhi Police

Special Series on Terror Arrests from Bihar — Part One

Since November 2011, over a dozen Muslims mostly youths belonging to Bihar have been picked in connection with unsolved terror cases. While Police and Press described every arrest as a prize catch – terrorist involved in several blasts, terror mastermind, member/recruiter of banned terror group Indian Mujahideen etc. – the family of every arrested person summarily rejected all charges and claimed innocence. TCN presents a series on the terror arrests from Bihar – Editor

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By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,,

Shivdhara, Darbhanga: The wall of two-room dilapidated house has big cracks depicting metaphorically the big unexpected jolt the family received on 21st February 2012 when the lone breadwinner, a 55-year-old bicycle repair mechanic was picked in abduction fashion by plain-clothed Special Cell sleuths of Delhi Police.

Kafeel Ahmed would earn hardly enough to meet both ends. He had a small bicycle repair shop just 300 metres from his home in Shivdhara locality of Darbhanga district. His house clearly tells about his poverty. One small room has thatch roof, another smaller one is cemented which he had made by his own hands literally – he had worked both as labor and mason and involved his sons in the work.

Till 21st February he was a poor bicycle repair mechanic for his family, for his locality, for the local police and for all. On 22nd February, he was presented before media and court in Delhi as a terror mastermind and Indian Mujahideen recruiter. The police said he was recruiting IM operatives. Bu the man was repairing bicycles at his shop from morning to evening to earn hardly Rs 100 a day.

“There is no case against my father in the local police station. He has no enmity or even scuffle with anyone in the area. He has little to do with worldly life. After working at shop he would spend his time in namaz and Quran. My father cannot be a terrorist,” says Sarfarz Ahmed, Kafeel’s eldest son of two.

The way Kafeel was picked puts a big question mark before the modus operandi of the law enforcing agencies. Sarfaraz gives details about how his father was picked on 21st February.

Kafeel Ahmed’s son Sarfaraz Ahmed at his house in Shivdhara, Darbhanga

“My father was parking his bicycle near the clinic of Dr Arif Shahnawaz in the mohalla. He had taken me there for check-up. Meanwhile, a Tata Sumo came near him and stopped. There were four people inside. One came out and began helping my father to park his bicycle. They said they want to talk to my father for two minutes and asked my father to come near the vehicle. They asked him to come in. He resisted but he put his one leg on the foothold of the vehicle and began talking to them but soon he was pushed inside and they sped away. We thought he was kidnapped and so we approached local police outpost,” says Sarfaraz.

In the evening he got a call from Delhi and the caller told him that his father is being brought to Delhi for questioning as there is a case against him. Sarfaraz didn’t believe him and asked him to let his father talk to him but he could not. But he was able to talk to his father next day.

Currently he is said to be on police remand. The police have alleged he had recruited about a dozen IM members who were involved in several terror blasts in the country, but besides his family, his neighbors are also not ready to accept it. They swear by his honesty and innocence.

Kafeel was alone to earn for the family of six. Sarfaraz is 12th Std pass-out. He has just returned from Mumbai after doing a course in construction supervisor. He is jobless. His younger brother is school-going. Who will fight his case?