‘Framed’ By Paying Guest

A medical student from Kishtwar studying in Bangladesh, Wasim is suspected of involvement in the Delhi High Court blast. He and his family have fully cooperated with NIA investigators, but the family believes their son has been framed by their one time paying guest to settle some personal score with Wasim. Saima Bhat has the family version of the story.

Wasim Akram Malik, a medical student believed to be the ‘mastermind’ behind the Delhi court blast on September 7 was actually handed over to NIA (National Investigation Agency) by his parents. The NIA had sent a letter to Wasim’s family on October 2, stating that the investigation agency wanted to question the boy.

Wasim, a resident of the Kishtiwar, was called by his father to reach New Delhi as soon as possible. He is pursuing his final year of MBBS from Jalalabad Ragib Rabeya Medical College and Hospital at Sylhet near Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Wasim had reportedly called the NIA officials himself and provided them with his flight itinerary information. On October 4th, he reached the Delhi airport, where NIA officials and his parents were already present.

“NIA officials told me they will take Wasim for some time, as they have to question him about the Delhi blast. I didn’t have any objection as I was aware my son is innocent and they will release him after questioning,” says his father, ReyazUl Hassan, an employee of the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC). “They have made my son a scapegoat. If he had actually been involved, then he would have never come back for answering their questions.”

Wasim’s family says they were shocked to hear claims telecast on TV channels that Wasim was arrested from the Indo- Bangla border. Wasim’s parents deny all allegation against their son and say, “We have bank records (ATM) which prove he has made transactions for shopping on September 7thfrom Jammu. He was charge-sheeted by the Jammu Traffic Police for driving without a helmet on September 8th. Moreover, there are CCTVs in all those malls from where he did his shopping. Why don’t these investigative agencies check that CCTV footage that can prove his presence in Jammu?”

Wasim was reported to police by Azhar Ali, who is presently lodged in Kotbalwal Jail in Jammu. Ali, a resident of Paadar, Kishtiwar is allegedly the ‘underground worker of HizbulMujahideen’ and has been in jail since 2009. But family members say Ali was their paying guest for 5 or 6 months in 2010. Azhar befriended Junaid Akram, Wasim’s younger brother who was studying in 10th at the time.

But on November 8, 2010, Ali kidnapped Junaid for ransom. The family members themselves got the call details of Junaid, traced Ali and lodged an FIR (no. 242/2010) in the concerned Police station of Kishtiwar. The family believes Ali had falsely dragged Waseem’s name in the Delhi blast case to settle personal scores.

Wasim has also been questioned about Junaid Malik, his younger brother, who is alleged to be ‘a Hizb ul-Mujahideen commander’ and is believed to be one of the key conspirators in the Delhi blast. But their mother Shameema says, “Junaid was born in 1995. When he was kidnapped, he had just finished his class 10th examination and had gone to attend a relative’s wedding. I have a copy of the FIR from when my son Junaid was kidnapped.

Our concerned police station officers know every bit of my Junaid’s case,” she says. “11 months have passed since then, but police are yet to find my little son. I don’t even know whether my son is alive or not,” Shameema says with tears rolling down from her eyes. And she adds, “We are an educated family and I have spent money to get my older son admission in a medical college. I am a mother of four children, two daughters and two sons”.

Initially, the family would get phone calls from unknown numbers to release Azhar from police custody, and in exchange, they will return Junaid. But then, those calls stopped and they have given up all hope of Junaid’s return.

ReyazUl Hassan says, “NIA is interweaving different stories and is trying to drag both our sons in the blast case. I am requesting the Chief Minister and the Indian government to inquire into the matter and save the future of our sons”.

Earlier, three more were arrested from Kishtiwar and one among them was later released. Wasim was then arrested for the September 7 Delhi blast that left 15 dead and 70 injured.

Reports also say after Wasim’s arrest, NIA had gone to Dhaka for some more clues in the case for which they have questioned two students including a girl, both from Kishtiwar, about the conduct of Wasim. Both the students have been let off after questioning and NIA have found nothing there, according to reports.

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