Phulwari Sharif arrests: Marghoob Danish’s family refutes police claims

Saifuddin Ahmad, father of arrested youth, shows an AIIMS Patna prescription. | Picture: The Telegraph

The arrested youth Marghoob Ahmad Danish, as per his family, is undergoing treatment at the psychiatric department of the Patna wing of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for mental illness. 

Sami Ahmad | 

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PATNA (BIHAR) — Parents of the 24-year-old youth from Bihar who was arrested by police last week on allegations of being part of a terror module have contested the police claims saying their “son is mentally ill and cannot be part of any terror activities.”

Marghoob Ahmad Danish, per his family, is undergoing treatment at the psychiatric department of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Patna. 

AIIMS IQ statement report, a copy of which is with, notes that “the patient is definitely below average in intellectual capacity.”

An AIIMS prescription letter stating low IQ of deatined youth Marghoob Danish. | Picture by arrangement

Recounting the circumstances of his arrest, Marghoob’s father Sauffudin Ahmad, told that on the morning of July 14, he was attending a Quran Khawani ceremony in his neighbourhood. “Marghoob was with me. As he is mentally unwell, he was sitting outside the room,” Ahmad told 

Ahmad said that when he heard his son was arrested, he rushed outside. “I ran after them as they were taking him to my house. At our house, they said that Marghoob was wanted in connection with anti-national activities. They searched the house but found nothing,” he said.

The family lives in Munir Colony at Phulwari Sharif, Patna. Saufuddin runs a milk booth and his wife Nusrat Parween does sewing work. 

“We heard about Marghoob from what is reported in the media. We are worried about his health and wellbeing as he needs an attendant even to go to the bathroom,” Marghoob’s mother Parween said. 

What are the charges against Marghoob?
An F.I.R. under sections 121, 121 (A), 120 (B), 505 (1) (b), 153 (A) of IPC and 66 of IT act is registered at Phulwari Sharif police station against him. TheF.I.R. says that he was picked from near Qurban Masjid where he had gone to meet his colleagues. This claim is contested by Marghoob’s father who said they had gone to attend a Quran Khwani ceremony there. 

Marghoob is accused of posting, liking and sharing content on social media that were “anti-national, provocative, radical and hateful”. The FIR says that he was preparing a sleeper cell for waging Jihad against the country. It also mentions one Whatsapp group Ghazwa-e-Hind” created by a Pakistani named Zain and he made Marghoob the admin later. One of the comments mentioned in the F.I.R. purportedly made by Marghoob reads “Koi fayda nahin aimim ko support karne ki, Ab direct Jihand karenge 2023 me Khilafat ka elan Indian Muslim karenge (There is no gain in supporting AIMIM. We should do Jihad and in 2023 Indian Muslims will announce caliphate)”. 

Following his arrest, police had told reporters that Marghoob had stayed in Dubai from 2006 to 2016 and during this time came in touch with terror groups. He is among the five people arrested so far in Patna police’s crackdown on the alleged terror module. The first arrests took place on July 11, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Patna.

Marghoob’s father who has worked in Dubai as a storekeeper rubbished this claim. “Marghoob was born in 1998. So, how can an eight-year-old boy go to Dubai to work?”

Media reports have quoted police officials as saying that it “was a slip of tongue” on part of the police. 

“It was a slip of the tongue that led us to say that Marghoob had worked in a foreign country. His father had worked there,” Phulwari Sharif police station SHO Ekrar Ahmad told The Telegraph. 

SHO Ahmad is further quoted in the report saying that “police are investigating whether he is mentally ill or not.”

Both Saufuddin and the local police said that Marghoob had no prior criminal history. “He was a phone addict and used to watch it for hours till morning but we never overheard anything running from his video that contained anything anti-India,” Saufuddin said.

Sami Ahmad is a journalist based in Patna, Bihar. He tweets at @samipkb