SRINAGAR: Over a day after two men from west Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district were arrested by Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police for allegedly carrying a pistol and some ammunition, their families claimed that the two were being framed, reported The Indian Express.
Mohammad Danish Siddiqui (22) and Naushad (40) — both of them live and work in Kashmir — were arrested by J&K Police during a vehicle checking drive on Friday night.
Quoting a J&K police officer newspaper The Indian Express reported that, “We had prior information that some arms were being transported in a particular car with a local registration number. We have registered a case against both of them under section 7/25 of the Indian Arms Act. We are questioning them and have taken up further investigation into the case.”
Siddiqui and Naushad’s families told The Indian Express that the two were being framed, and pointed out that they had no criminal record. Bijnor Superintendent of Police (SP) Dharm Veer Singh confirmed that there were no cases against the accused in the district.
Danish’s brother Rizwan Siddiqui (28) said his brother left home with Naushad on Wednesday, travelling back to Kashmir. The Siddiquis are from the Raja ka Tajpur town in the district’s Noorpur police station area.
“They used to share the cost of the fuel for Danish’s car because both of them work there and it worked out to be cheaper,” said Rizwan.
Danish owns a small unit in Srinagar that manufactures sweets and sells them to shops. According to his brother, he has been living in Kashmir since he went there as a seven-year-old to look for work. “He went there as a child and has since managed to get steady work there and has done well by running his own business,” said Rizwan, whose father runs a paan (betel leaf) shop.
He added, “We don’t know for what he has been caught. My father got a call from him yesterday [Saturday], and he said that we should go there. My brother is an honest person and has done no wrong. He has been framed or there is a misunderstanding about something.”
Rizwan, who drives an e-rickshaw in Bijnor, said his brother had come home for a couple of weeks for a family wedding. “He had been talking to us throughout the way and told us his car got stuck somewhere due to road diversions. Then, we lost touch, and he called on Saturday and said he has been arrested. We don’t know what to do. We are very poor and barely makes ends meet. We don’t have the money to travel to Kashmir,” he added.
Naushad’s 60-year-old father Yunus said his son had been working as a barber in Kashmir for more than 20 years. “He has never been to a police station in his life. I don’t know who has framed him, but my son is innocent,” said Yunus, who lives in the village of Shahabpura Ratan Singh in Keeratpur.
Naushad’s mother Nazma (57) said her son had come home around 15 days ago for a family wedding. “He left on Wednesday after hitching a ride with Danish,” she added.
Nazma said Naushad is married to a woman from Bijnor, Shahana (37), who lives with him in Srinagar along with their sons Sohail (10) and Sahil (8). The 57-year-old said the family owns a buffalo and its members work as daily wage earners in Bijnor. “We are very poor and don’t even know what to do now about our son,” The Indian Express quoted Naushad’s mother Nazma as having said.