Darbhanga frightened with new terror arrest; Nitish upset

By TCN Staff Reporter,

Patna: This past Sunday morning sent fresh frightening waves across Darbhanga district when a young poet and teacher Kafeel Akhtar was arrested by a team of plain-clothed policemen from Karnataka in connection with the Chinnaswamy stadium blast case of 2010. Neither the state police nor government was informed before or after the arrest. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has reportedly described the arrest as illegal and highly objectionable. Since November 2011, about one dozen local Muslim youths have been arrested in similar fashion and in similar cases.

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Around 6 am on Sunday, 8 policemen in plain clothes entered the Badh Samela village under Keoti police station in Darbhanga district. They knocked at the door of Abdus Salam, picked his 24-year-old son Kafeel Akhtar from home and sped away. When asked by the family members, they said they were from Karnataka, taking Akhtar for identification in Ranchi and he will return home from there. But in Ranchi they produced him before a magistrate and took him to Karnataka.

Akhtar was teaching Islamic studies at Al Hira Public School in Darbhanga. He is graduate from local Jalan College. Akhtar is married and has a kid.

Keoti police station in-charge Sher Singh has told media he was not informed about the arrest. He also said there is no case against Akhtar in the local police station. Darbhanga SP Garima Mallik has also said she was not informed about the arrest.

Reacting over the arrest, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday described as “totally wrong” the arrest of an alleged terrorist from Darbhanga district. His government and the state police were not informed of the arrest. Kumar also termed the arrest was “illegal” and “highly objectionable.” According to media reports, the CM said the Bihar police will send a written complaint to Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Kafeel Akhtar has been arrested for allegedly being a member of terrorist group “Indian Mujahideen.” The police have alleged Akhtar was involved Chinnaswamy blasts that took place during IPL match in Bangalore in 2010. The 5th edition of IPL matches are going on these days in Bangalore and other cities.

Last year, another youth from the same village, Qateel Ahmed Siddiqi was arrested in the same blast case.

Akhtar’s arrest was not recorded at a local police station. The Director-General of Police in Bihar was also not taken into confidence either before or after the arrest, nor was he produced before a magistrate in Darbhanga. En route to Bangalore, Akhtar was produced in a court in Ranchi, several hundred kms from Darbhanga. Nitish reportedly said this violated all guidelines. The youth should have been brought to a court in Bihar by the officers who arrested him.

Nitish is among chief ministers who have been opposing National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC) for the very reason that it will give sweeping powers to central government and its agencies.

Terror Arrests from Bihar