Contact me if innocents detained: Maha ATS chief to Muslim leaders

By Rehan Ansari,,

Mumbai: Under fire after the death of Faiz Usmani under mysterious circumstances in police custody on Saturday, Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria on Monday assured a delegation of Muslim community leaders that no innocents will be harassed in the course of on-going probe of July 13 Mumbai serial blasts. He urged them to contact him directly if any innocent is detained.

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The delegation comprising representatives of several Muslim organizations besides noted filmmaker and social activist Mahesh Bhatt met ATS chief in the background of Usmani’s death. Usmani was brother of Afzal Usmani who is already in jail in connection with Ahmedabad serial blasts of 2008. The Usmani family alleged some torture during police custody caused the death of their son.

“Muslim leaders and activists can directly contact ATS Chief Rakesh Maria or Himanshu Rai, Head of Crime Branch Mumbai Police if innocents have been detained or arrested unnecessarily,” the Maharashtra police gave this assurance to the delegation.

After the meeting, Aslam Ghazi of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind informed “Top Cops assured us that no injustice would be done with anybody. They are themselves monitoring every detention or arrest and if some lower rank officer harasses anyone they can approach them without any fear.”

After the meeting, Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt talked to mediapersons at the press club. “We are satisfied with the assurances by the police and if any innocent is harassed they can approach the activists, he said.”

About Faiz Usmani’s death under detention Mahesh Bhatt said, “They told us that Faiz was questioned only for 20 minutes and when found ill he was admitted to the local hospital and then finally to the Sion hospital.”

MA Khalid, general Secretary of Milli Council said: “We demanded that the investigation of the recent blast should be done from all angles. Investigation should look at all the angles of the blast and their perpetrators irrespective of any religion or organization.” He also said that Afzal Usmani, who has been arrested for Ahmedbad blasts, is a car thief.

Community leaders and activists are spreading the assurance of the police officers through SMS. “In a recent blast if innocents are picked up or targeted by CID, Police or ATS pls. immediately inform to take corrective measures quickly,” reads an SMS.

The delegation included Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, Abraham Mathai, Vice Chairman, Maharashtra Minority Commission, Aslam Ghazi of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Dr. Azimuddin of Movement for Peace and Justice, MA Khalid, General Secretary, Milli Council, and Social Activists Harun Mozawala, Hafiz Athar and Salim Alware.

Contact Nos of community leaders
Aslam Ghazi (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind): 9029226105
M A Khalid (All India Milli Council): 9821505623