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Suspense deepens over Kashmiri couple arrested from Okhla Vihar alleged to have links with ISIS, locals unaware

  • Arrest of a Kashmiri couple in Okhla Vihar surfaces
  • Police took landlord and broker into custody for further questioning
  • Neither rent agreement nor police verification found
  • The couple had been living for 6 months, but no one knew them
  • The couple was arrested on Saturday night from the lane outside their residence

Zia Ur Rahman, Yusuf Ansari, twocircles.net

A Kashmiri couple has been arrested from Jamia Nagar’s Okhla Vihar on charges of having connections with ISIS. Jamia Nagar Police, on Monday, has also taken into custody the landlord and broker for further questioning. Fear has gripped the residents after the arrest as several hours after a search operation, no one in the locality seemed to have known the Kashmiri couple.

For TwoCircles.net, Zia Ur Rahman spent hours trying to collect more details but the only information he could gather was that the couple had been living there for 6 months. Landlord Saeed Abbasi was unavailable as police had already taken him for questioning early morning. His son, though, was willing to share that the local broker, Shuja, had helped the couple buy this flat on rent months back. Since no Rent Agreement had been made between the parties, police verification was still pending.

“Giraftaari ya toh hamari dukaan band hone ke baad hui hogi ya phir hamari dukaan khulne se pehle” (The arrest must have taken place either after my shop had closed or before my shop had opened), said the owner of a departmental store, just few metres away from the couple’s residence. Locals, on asking, said that the couple must have been arrested late in the night on Saturday or in the wee hours of Sunday from a lane outside their house. Time of arrest was carefully chosen, as opined by the residents because no one got the slightest clue when and how the couple was taken into police custody.

The couple, Jahanzeb Sami and Hina Bashir Baig had rented flat C-4 since October last year. Their neighbors had no clue whether they had more relatives around or not. In fact, they did not even know the Kashmiri couple had been living there for months. When TwoCircles.net reporter talked to others in the vicinity about the couple, they were completely unaware of the arrest. The immediate neighbor of the couple was also clueless that they were arrested on charges of having links with the terror group ISIS. Some shopkeepers in the area knew about the arrest but they were reluctant to share any information. Our reporter scanned the other shops in the area but found no one who knew about the couple. While talking to other Kashmiris in the area, it was found that none of them knew either Jahanzeb or his wife, Hina.

“Wo bahut acchhe insaan hain” (He, Saeed, is a very good person), said one of the shop owners, who has been there for more than three years. He said despite the fact that landlord Saeed Abbasi is quite well known among the locals, he had rarely ever seen the Kashmiri couple in the flat.

Delhi Police has sent the couple Jahanzeb Sami and Hina Bashir Baig into a 14 days custody after which they would be produced for a special hearing at Patiala Court. After rounds of investigation, Police claims, several shocking revelations have been made. Police says the couple has links with the Khorasan Module of ISIS and were planning Fidayeen-style suicide bomb blasts across Delhi. The couple, as Police says, was planning serial blasts similar to the one that rocked Colombo in Sri Lanka last year. Police alleged that the couple possesses similar chemicals as were found in Colombo’s serial blast.

A Special Cell in Delhi Police has reported having intercepted a conversation between two blast suspects from ISIS’ Khorasan Module. The suspects had mentioned ‘Triacetone Tripperoxide’ (TATP) explosive, which is alternately known as ‘Mother of Satan’. Police had received leads of the Kashmiri couple at Okhla Vihar from this intercept. Intelligence Bureau (IB) had initially intercepted web chats of Jahanzeb Sami after receiving leads from the Special Cell of Delhi Police. Sami has confirmed to have visited Dubai but denies visiting Neelam Valley in Pakistan. The Special Cell also suspects him of visiting Syria in relation to the Khorasan Module of ISIS.

According to police, the couple has been suspects under security agencies for a long time. They had come to Delhi from Kashmir in August last year. Sami had been working with a private company. Police, accompanied by a team from Special Cell, have recovered ample Jihadi material along with many electronic gadgets from the couple’s rented flat. Sami’s chat history also reveals him having close contact with Khorasan Module’s Wing Commander, Huzaifa. Huzaifa, a Pakistani national was previously with Lashkar e Taiba before news of his death surfaced in July last year.

According to police, Sami has confessed to having worked with Al Qaeda before. He accepted to have shifted base from Kashmir to Delhi during the longest internet blockade extending six months in the Valley in the wake of abrogation of Article 370. Sami had been recruiting youngsters for Jihad through social media, with his account name as ‘Dawood Al Hindi’. He has confessed to having ‘brainwashed’ youths into joining ISIS. First, his wife Hina used to communicate with these youngsters, pulling them into working for ISIS and once they committed, he would take over.

All the above claims by the police are still under inquiry as police have refrained from answering several important questions. One of these questions is, police have accused a couple of recruiting youngsters for ISIS through social media but have not named the platform they were using. Hina is accused of writing for ISIS magazines. The couple is accused of inciting Muslim youths against the Citizenship Amendment Act, but all of these accusations still lack solid proof. Police accused the couple of owning inflammatory articles and literature but none of these have been provided as proofs as of yet.

It is noteworthy that all the information that is coming to media about the Kashmiri couple having links with ISIS is from police sources. There have been no press conferences, no official statements, and no charge sheet as a source of further clarification.

“Both of them have never participated in any protest even back in Kashmir then why would they incite others to join protests in Delhi,” says Sami’s mother. She is sure that her son and daughter-in-law are both innocent. Both Sami and Hina’s parents have arrived in Delhi to take legal aid for the duo. Delhi Police, however, maintains that the couple has been working so viciously that no one around them can ever garner doubts about their alleged involvement in terror activities. With such grave accusations, it is now the onus on Delhi Police to prove them guilty of crimes they were arrested for.