Special Series on Terror Arrests from Bihar – Part Six
By Mumtaz Alam Falahi, TwoCircles.net,
Darbhanga: You talk to any Muslim in Darbhanga – be it cleric, intellectual or shopkeeper – and ask about their feeling over the arrest of local youths in terror cases, they will respond unanimously: The arrested youths are innocent; the arrests are aimed at frightening the local Muslims, youths and students and ultimately pushing them back both in the field of education and economy.
Since November 2011, over a dozen Muslims mostly youths belonging to Darbhanga and Madhubani have been picked in connection with unsolved terror cases. Soon after each arrest, Police and Press described the arrested person as a prize catch – terrorist involved in several blasts, terror mastermind, member/recruiter of banned terror group Indian Mujahideen etc. But not only their families but the locals and neighbors have summarily rejected the police charges and said the arrests area part of conspiracy to keep Muslim youth under constant fear and to push back the community which over two decades has made good progress in the field of education and resultantly their economic condition has improved.
Why all of a sudden police have started arresting local youths in terror cases? “The government or their agencies want to keep Muslims backward. Of late Muslim youths, after doing matric and intermediate, have started going ahead for technical and professional education, but by arresting them in false terror cases the government wants that they do not go ahead. They remain under fear and they do not complete their education,” says Md. Umar Ansari, Ex-Principal, Shafi Muslim High School, Darbhanga.
What about the police charges?
“There is no truth in police allegations. They are innocent youths. From this mohalla a youth named Abdur Rahman was arrested in terror case from Chennai in November. He is behind bars since then. The government is still doing investigation about his role. When you have not found any proof he should have been released,” Ansari says.
He also informs that some days back, police had come in the mohalla. They were looking for a person by the name of Danish. They picked one or two persons of that name, took to the Darbhanga town or in some hotel for their identification by some already arrested person. When the man in custody did not identify them they were released. Then the police tried to pick another person of Danish name. By such moves, the police have frightened the entire Mohall and community. Family members of people with the name of Danish, in particular, and general people in general are worried lot. Parents of one Danish have fallen ill. Their business has closed and now they are facing starvation. The youth himself has stopped going to school, Ansair says.
Mohd. Najmuddin runs a shop in Maharajganj locality of Darbhanga. He says the arrest of local youths in terror cases is wrong.
“To my knowledge, none of the youths arrested from here in terror cases have anything to do with such cases. Recently they picked a 60-year old cycle repair mechanic from Shivdhara area in the town. For last 20 years he was meeting both ends by repairing bicycles. And Abdur Rahman from this Mohalla is lame but very intelligent in education. He has also been arrested in terror case,” says Najmuddin.
He says the arrests have instilled fear in local Muslims. “This has instilled fear among the local people particularly youths and students. People think they are facing discriminatory behavior from the govt. Perhaps this is a conspiracy to disturb the cream of the society,” he opines.
Maulana Abrar Qasmi, Imam of Jama Masjid, Darbhanga, and District President of Jamiat Ulema-I-Hind, says the arrest of innocents from here and there are proof the police are groping in the dark.
“I think Police are groping in dark and arresting innocent youths without any probe and proof. They should have first probed and then arrested,” says Maulana Qasmi. Like others, he is also of the view that such arrests have instilled fear among people and the society. People are angry against the local admin and govt.
The maulana says that he is unable to understand why Darbhanga is all of sudden being seen as hub of terrorists. But he adds that this could be a conspiracy against the community and the youth to put them under constant fear.
“People now say these arrests are conspiracy to push Muslims of the area back. The local youths were going ahead and getting higher education. My feeling is that they want not only to push them back, rather they want to keep Muslim youth under constant fear,” says the maulana.