According to NIA officials, 18-year-old Arslan was arrested on December 30 in connection with a conspiracy to radicalise, incite and recruit youth of the state to influence violent activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The family has denied the agency’s claims.
Srinagar: The only brother of 18-year-old Saharish Firoz was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently, after which his parents are in grief and have been hospitalized twice so far.
Doctors say that his father has anxiety neurosis while the mother is in mourning.
Saharish says, ‘The doctors have told us not to stress him (father) any more or else he may have a heart attack. Who will take care of us if anything happens to them?’
His father Firoz Ahmed is the only person to take care of the family.
Let us inform that in a case related to terrorism, the NIA raided a house in Jallagar area of Srinagar on December 30 and arrested Arslan Firoz, a class 12 student.
According to NIA officials, Arslan has been arrested in a case related to a conspiracy to radicalise, incite and recruit the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to influence violent activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
Saharish says, ‘Arslan was not at home at the time of the raid. He was at maternal uncle’s house and stayed there for the night. We called him immediately and asked him to come home.
Saharish said, ‘NIA officials searched the house for about three hours but they did not find anything. When Arslan came, they took him with them.
The family was asked to bring Arslan’s clothes from the Srinagar office of the NIA in the evening so that he (Arslan) can be taken to Delhi.
The agency claims that they found some digital evidence and incriminating documents during searches in Srinagar.
Let us inform that this case of NIA is related to attacks on civilians and security forces in Kashmir, in which a new organization The Resistance Front (TRF) is involved. The NIA believes that this organization is a unit of Lashkar-e-Taiba.
According to the NIA, “Arslan is part of a module operated by three Lashkar commanders Sajjad Gul, Salim Rahmani and Saifullah Sajid Jatt to assist in recce of pre-determined targets, movement of weapons for Lashkar-e-Taiba and TRF”. Hires over ground workers. So far four people have been arrested in this case.
Saharish says that she does not understand how Arslan, who was dreaming of saving money to send his parents on Haj pilgrimage one day, can join terrorism.
She says, ‘He can’t even make his bed without my help, so how can he radicalize people to join terrorist activities?’
Saharish also showed Arslan the citation given by the Jammu and Kashmir government for his participation in sports activities. His father is a private contractor’s accountant who takes care of the family alone. He has a small house in Srinagar, in which nine family members, including five cousins of Saharish, live.
According to the family, Arslan was first arrested by the NIA on October 21 and released after 40 days.
Saharish said, ‘No charges were leveled against him at that time. If he was involved in terrorism then why was he released? What has changed in the last few weeks that a class 12th student has become a recruiter of youth for terrorist activities? These are all lies.
Arslan had passed his last examination in first division from a government school. Records show that he regularly participated in sports activities including cricket tournaments and kabaddi championships.
Saharish says, “We often studied together as we could not afford private school. If I had trouble understanding a topic, Arslan would help me. Arslan could not take the exam due to the developments in the last few months, I also could not give the exam properly.
Two days after Arslan’s arrest, the victim’s family along with some neighbors reached the Press Colony in Srinagar, demanding his release. Arslan’s father with folded hands urged Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh to ensure his son’s release from NIA custody.
The family then met former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti at Gupkar Road in Srinagar, who promised that she would write a letter to Amit Shah demanding Arslan’s release.
Mehbooba said, ‘NIA claims that he is an operative of TAF while his family is saying something else. No FIR has been registered against Arslan in the past and at present. Her family is in trauma and I will write a letter to the Home Minister in this regard.
Mehbooba said in a letter to the Union Home Minister on January 3, “Arslan is a child of a normal background. His family is already struggling for bread for two times. You can very well understand the mental agony the family must be going through due to his arrest?’
The letter said, ‘You had insisted here to connect with the youth. Despite our political differences, I am sure we agree that incidents like this will only alienate our younger generation and leave them with a lasting scar that will only disappoint them for a long time. I request you to personally intervene in this matter and ensure that the victim gets justice.
a similar tragedy
Saharish says that ever since the NIA arrested Arslan, his mother has been waiting for her son to return. She repeatedly says, ‘Please return my son, return my son.’
The neighbors try to assure them that Arslan will return soon but they are not convinced either.
A woman consoled Arslan’s mother, saying, “In the last few months, many families in Kashmir have been facing similar tragedies and we continue to believe that they must have done something wrong.” Arslan is a loving child who takes care of his parents. There is no truth in the claims of NIA.
Since October last year, when attacks were being carried out targeting migrant laborers and the minority community, the NIA had arrested over two dozen people, mostly youths, from different parts of the Valley, including Srinagar, for their alleged role in terror incidents.
Among those arrested were the sister of a terrorist killed in 2017 and a freelance photojournalist from Srinagar.
(Click here to read this report in English.)
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