One of them is a family The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested five people. The MMR on Friday questioned the ATS’s claim that it had found “suspicious materials” on the accused, alleged to have links with the Popular Front of India (PFI). The family claims that such materials or documents are already in the public domain and can be found on the Internet.
The ATS had earlier claimed that a document seized from the accused called ‘India 2047’ spoke of working towards the larger goal of governing the country by Islamic law by 2047.
The 20-year-old daughter of Mazhar Khan, one of those arrested, said the document in question was titled ‘India 2047: Empowering the People’. The documents, which depend on the socio-economic status of Muslims in India, are easily available on the Internet, he added.
“The document is a survey report. However, the agencies framed the issue as if it was a terror-related document,” said Afnan, adding that the agency saw the document at their home and seized it.
Khan lives in a flat in Kurla with his wife Ruksana, daughter Afnan and a 16-year-old son. Ruksana said that around 3:30 in the morning when they were sleeping, the ATS officials came. “They started asking my son about some weapons they alleged my husband had, but found nothing.”
About Khan’s relationship with PFI, Afnan said, “He is working with PFI as a social worker. He was appointed as the vice-president… During the epidemic, when people refused to take the bodies of their relatives, my father conducted many funerals.
Khan, who holds diplomas in computer and AC repair, sells clothes for a living. Recently, he started his own YouTube channel, Janata Talks.
Taslim Qureshi, wife of another accused Sadiq Isaaq Qureshi, said her husband had raised his voice against the UAPA and other draconian laws. Sadiq was the State President of PFI and State President of Social Democratic Party of India in the past. She said, “My husband has been an activist since his college days. He was arrested because he was raising voice against draconian laws like UAPA.”
“Sadiq is also a BA, LLB and Diploma in IT. He has his own YouTube channel and has been a public speaker for the past six to seven years,” he added.
Meanwhile, the family of another accused Mohammad Iqbal Mohammad Ibrahim Khan refused to talk to the media.
The ATS on Thursday conducted raids at 12 locations across the state and arrested 20 people for their alleged involvement in PFI. Besides MMR, raids were conducted in Aurangabad, Pune, Kolhapur, Beed, Parwani, Nanded, Jalgaon, Jalna and Malegaon. Before the court, which remanded the accused in five-day ATS custody, the agency said the people had conspired to topple the government and bring in Islamic law.
“We have seized several documents from the accused which are yet to be verified. Apart from that, our case is not only based on documents. There are eyewitnesses who confirm the ulterior motive of the arrestees, as radical messages were conveyed in the physical training sessions and seminars conducted by the PFI,” said an ATS officer.