Terror witch-hunt: What about the families?

By Kashif-ul-Huda, TwoCircles.net

Gauhar Aziz Khomaini was arrested by Delhi Police on November 2011 and is still waiting for charges to be filed against him and trial to begin. His brother Hasan Aziz Aamir works in Dubai as a legal officer for a private company. Today Aamir has sort of become a reluctant spokesperson of families of terror-accused persons giving perspectives of people who find themselves other side of the news headlines.

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The pattern in all terror arrests in India is the same- policemen in plain-clothes come in unmarked car to pick-up the person of interest that can only be called kidnapping, families find out about this “arrest” days later from media reports, in many cases families have never been officially informed about these arrests. But the challenge for them is what to do once they found about the arrest.

Hasan Aziz Aamir was in Delhi when his brother Khomaini went missing. He found out about the arrest from news reports. Not knowing what to do, he called a meeting of his friends and most of them advised him to go back to Dubai. A sleepless night later, he decided that his running away will be disastrous for not only his brother but also for others striving to prove their innocence accused in terrorism cases.

During his student days Aamir was vice-president of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Students’ Union and also member of the AMU court. “With a background like that if I had come back to Dubai next day this would have affected not only my brother but the whole community as well,” he told me in May in Dubai.

Excerpts from his interview:

Community support

There was not much support from community organizations except a few notable exceptions like TwoCircles.net was the first one to interview me and highlight this case. I should also acknowledge the valuable support of Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR).

It is really unfortunate that arresting in terror-related cases is going on but Muslim organizations have not done anything in this regard. They are yet to meet the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, or other officers.

Legal cell

Our system is flawed and therefore many people and their families suffer for years trying to prove their innocence. During these years they get harassed by police, taken advantage by lawyers, and shunned by society. We need a legal cell that protects not only Muslims but other disadvantaged as well.


Innocents are getting picked-up and then multiple charges are filed against each of the accused that takes years for the accused before he can get acquitted. This is not possible without the political support from the Central Government. I hold Congress Government responsible for this.

Congress debacle in Uttar Pradesh elections proves that Muslims are frustrated with the party and they will suffer in future elections as well, if the issue of terror witch-hunt is not addressed quickly.

What families have to go through

Even with my educational, political, and professional background, I was at a loss when I heard of my brother’s arrest. Just imagine what will be the condition of people with low educational and economic background.

When I went to see my brother at Delhi Police Special Cell Office, I met one poor person who had come to see his arrested brother after paying Rs. 5000 to his advocate. Even though this visit should have been for free but lawyer was charging him money to arrange for what should be his right.

Families have to go through a lot after the arrest. In many instances these youth are the sole bread-winners of the family so arresting also means a huge economic blow to families that are already poor.

Let the courts decide if the arrestee is innocent or guilty but why make families suffer as well? Some organizations should come forward to take care of the family’s well-being. We all are responsible to make sure the families of in custody and under-trials have roof over their head and food to survive. When years later these terror-accused are acquitted of all false charges they see that their whole world has come crashing down, then we have doubly punished this person for no fault of his.

We should have system in place to help these acquitted people start life afresh.


I request all media to avoid publishing unverified claims regarding terrorism cases. They should also talk to families and present their stories. They should realize that their news affects individuals, families, community, and country so they should be careful before publishing anything. Media should also highlight news of acquittals and the reasons for it.