“Why would he come to India if he was a terrorist?” asks family of ISIS suspect arrested in Sikar

By Amit Kumar, Twocircles.net

On November 16, Jameel Ahmed was arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad from Sikar on charges of helping the Islamic State raise funds for their terror activities. His family spoke with Twocircles.net and narrated their version

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Two months ago, Zubair Tinara, a 46-year-old resident of Fatehpur Ward number 5, noticed something curious. Two men had enquired about the location of Jameel Ahmed, his wife’s brother, at a local shop. They claimed to be his school friends. That was not the curious part; but the same people asked the same question to a different shopkeeper later in the day, claiming to be from a local police station. Worried, Zubair went to the local police station to check if there was an issue.

“Nothing like that. No complaints against Jameel,” he was informed.

Zubair nevertheless thought it was best to check with Jameel, who had been living in Dubai for the past twelve years.

“Are you sure Jameel? Is everything okay? Is there any issue, please tell me,” asked Zubair.

“There is nothing to worry; I have done no crime. In fact, I am coming to India in November. Why should I worry? I am an Indian…can’t an Indian come to his own country?” said Jameel over the phone to Zubair. He sounded confident, and relaxed; slightly irritated at why these questions were being fired at him.

He had been coming back home every year to meet his extended family and his wife and children. Why should there be a cause of worry now?

“He had brushed aside all my concerns, to a point where even I thought I was making a big deal out of it. Of course, he would come home like every year. I forgot about the matter that time,” reflects Zubair over a telephonic conversation with Twocircles.net.

“I wish I knew what was to follow,” Zubair adds.

On November 2, Jameel Ahmed arrived in Mumbai from Dubai, picked up his wife and their two teenage children from Dahanu, Maharashtra where they live, and left for Jaipur on the night of November 3. The first 12 days were uneventful.
All this changed on November 15, when Jameel was standing in a queue at the railway station.

Two men in civil uniform came towards Jameel and told him that there was an issue with one of his child’s passport. Surprised, Jameel accompanied them to the local police station. He informed Zubair to come to the police station with the passports. When Zubair and another friend arrived, they were told that Jameel was to be ‘interrogated’. For the passport, of course.

“The two-month old memory came back all of a sudden,” Zubair says.

Zubair was then told that Jameel had asked his wife for some documents and that he should go get them. So, Zubair went, and by the time he had returned, he was told that Jameel had been taken to Sikar, which is about 50 kms from Fatehpur. The documents that he had brought included a copy of Jameel’s wife’s PAN card, her Aadhar card and Jameel’s election card. Again, he was told that the issue was related to passports.

By night, Jameel had not returned from Sikar. Zubair was now extremely restless, and called up the local police station but got no response. He then called up the Ward Councillor of the area, who promised to look into the matter the following morning.

Fwd: Story.

On November 16, half a day had passed but Jameel had not returned. When they reached Sikar to inquire more, Zubair and the Ward councillor were told that he had been taken to Jaipur. That is when the police dropped the bomb: Jameel had been arrested, as it turns out, by the Anti-Terrorist Squad. For the past two years, the ATS claimed, Jameel had been in touch with the ISIS and had raised funds to finance their terror activities from India, Bangladesh, UAE and other nations. The ATS had received information that Jameel would be in India.

“What I do not understand is, why would a person from ISIS come to India when he has been already been warned that the police asked for him? Wouldn’t be prefer to remain away instead of walking into this trap?” asks Zubair.

Of course, the local media lapped up every word of the press release issued by the police: by the night of 16 November, the local channels carried the ‘big’ news, and no one bothered to check with the family. “We have seen such cases in the past with other Muslim men and are perfectly aware of all that can go wrong,” said Zubair in a quivering voice. “He has property in Dahanu worth Rs 50 lakh. He had taken a loan for the same and was earning well in Dubai. But now, we have no idea what will happen to all that. No one knows how long this might continue. His children and wife are here with us; they are all scared. His wife keeps crying. A great tragedy has befallen us,” says Zubair.

Zubair said the news has also caught all their neighbours by surprise. “He used to come home for a few weeks every year, and maintained cordial relationship with everyone. The people around us are supporting us, but such is the situation that no one wants to get dragged in it,” he says.

On November 19, he was finally able to meet Jameel in Jaipur, where he has been detained by the ATS. “After two days, all I got was 40 minutes with him. He was in shock, and spoke little except claiming to be innocent. He said he would never imagine doing something like this against his country,” said Zubair.

Jameel will be presented in front of a sessions court on November 24, and as of now all of Zubair’s efforts are towards arranging for a lawyer. “We are meeting with a lawyer on November 22 to discuss the case. Let’s see what happens,” he says.

For now, waiting is the only option available to Zubair and the family of Jameel. The question is, how long?