Labelled by ATS as IS man, family of Azamgarh youth calls it frame-up

New Delhi,  Aug 13 (KMS): Family members of 25-year-old Sabahuddin, who was arrested by India’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS), has rejected the allegations of terror activities levelled against him saying that he was implicated.

A delegation of civil rights group Rihai Manch met Sabahuddin’s brother Salahuddin and Nuruddin at his residence in Azamagarh’s Amilo town. They told the delegation that their brother is innocent.

The ATS claimed that Sabahuddin was working for the terror group IS and was planning to carry out a blast during Independence Day. It also said that he was also planning to target RSS members.

Talking about Sabahuddin’s arrests, his family members said that a team of 12-13 people in plain-clothes along with a constable came to their house around 9 O’clock on 3 August. They inquired about their family members for a long time while Sabahuddin was busy making preparations to contest local elections. The team talked about making Sabahuddin a member of the peace committee in view of the Muharram festival.

The family member said that the team interrogated Sabahuddin and carried out searches at his home. Then, they said that one of Sabahuddin’s friends talked with a girl. We are taking Sabahuddin for the interrogation in this regard and will leave him after an hour. Then on 9 August, the family came to know that he was arrested.

According to the family, the ATS has taken away the screwdriver, tester, wire-cutter, wire and the nails from his house. The ATS also confiscated the mobile phone of three family members along with Sabahuddin.

In its press note on the arrest, the ATS said, “We found evidence that Sabahuddin was linked to Telegram channel, AL-SAQR media, which is used by the IS to brainwash Muslim youth for terror and jihad.”

“During questioning, Sabahuddin said that he came in contact with one Bilal through Facebook and they used to talk about jihad and atrocities against Kashmiri mujahideen. Bilal gave Sabahuddin the telephone number of IS member Musa alias Khatab Kashmiri. Sabahuddin then started speaking with Musa and they started planning to take revenge. Musa gave Sabahuddin the telephone number of another IS member, Abu Bakar Al Shami, who is settled in Syria,” said the ATS.

However, Rajeev Yadav, general secretary of Rihai Manch, called it “conspiracy”.

“This game is being played to show Muslims as villain and keep them away from the mainstream,” said Yadav.

He also pointed out that Sabahuddin is also being said to be the member of All India Muslim Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMMIM). It seems now Muslim political parties are also being targeted. In a similar way, members of Popular Front of India (PFI) were being arrested in the last few years.

Sahabuddin’s neighbors also said he is innocent and is being implicated.

“Sabahuddin’s family is in the business of weaving. Around five years ago, Sabahuddin went to Mumbai where he learned how to repair air conditioning. He stayed in Mumbai for around two months and returned to his native place. Since then, he used to repair air conditioners in Azamgarh,” said a local shopkeeper Ziaullah.

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