Kashmir Youth Detained by Saudi Intelligence in December, Whereabouts Not Known Yet



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Family of a Kashmiri youth who was arrested in Saudi Arabia in December last year has demanded his whereabouts even as Kashmir top police officer feigned ignorance about the matter.

Aaqib Majeed Zaroo, son of Abdul Majeed Zaroo, a resident of Khwajayarbal, Saida Kadal, was arrested by the sleuths of Saudi Arabian intelligence on December 8, 2015 when he was on way to his apartment at Riyadh. His brother, Inayat Majeed told news gathering agency that they received a call from his friend about Zaroo’s arrest on December 10.

“My brother was working as a driver with Diet Watchers, which is a beverage company. He was there from around 17 months and when we heard about his arrest, we were shocked. My mother and father fell ill and since then they are unwell,” he said.

Subsequently, family lodged a complaint with Minister of External Affairs and approached a lawyer namely Avinesh Nandan Sharma. “The lawyers furnished all the details and sent details to Saudi Arabian authorities. He told us to wait for a week for reply from the Saudi authorities. But there was no reply and finally we decided to approach Saudi embassy in Delhi,” said Inayat.

Some Saudi embassy officials in Delhi, he said, humiliated him and denied access to meet top officials.

“I was thrown out of the Embassy.” Inayat said.

Shortly after his brother’s arrest Inayat said that he had lodged a complaint with police in Kashmir and they after verification gave a clean chit to my brother.

“My brother is innocent and he is not involved in any illegal activity. All we want to know is where he has been lodged and on what grounds was he picked?” he added.

According to Nafethat website of Saudi Government, Aaqib case is under investigation. His family also said that they were told by his company owner that his case is under investigation and he has not been convicted for any crime.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Range, SJM Gillani, when contacted, said he doesn’t know anything about the arrest. “You can ask Saudi authorities regarding the arrest,” he replied.

Asked whether Indian Home or External Affairs Ministry has sought any reply in connection with the arrest, the top police officer disconnected the call.

Meanwhile, the owner of Diet Watcher, Mohammad Jaralla when contacted expressed hope that Aaqib would be released shortly, saying he is a good and hard working person. “He has been arrested by Saudi intelligence and that’s why his whereabouts have not been disclosed. However, I have been told that the investigation is underway and so far nothing has been established. He may be released shortly,” said the Owner.


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