The Uttar Pradesh Police arrested four including a cab driver on their way to Hathras on Monday and booked them under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and sedition charges for allegedly creating chaos over the alleged gang-rape incident. According to the First Information Report (FIR), the police said that all four had connections with the Popular Front of India (PFI) and were also accumulating funds for creating large-scale “unrest” in wake of the incident.
SSP Mathura Dr Gaurav Grover said that the connection between the four was being ascertained as they had not revealed much information to the police. “They have not given us much information. We are trying to ascertain how the four accused know each other. Every other aspect is also a matter of investigation and further light can only be thrown once facts have been gathered,” he said.
One of the accused, a cab driver who was on duty in Greater Noida till morning, was arrested in Mathura later during the day, reported The Indian Express. Others arrested in the case include journalist Siddique Kappan and Campus Front of India (CFI) office bearers Atiqur Rahman and Masood.
The driver, a resident of Delhi’s Sunder Nagri area, was working with cab aggregator Ola and driving taxis under its banner. On the day of his arrest on Monday, October 5, Alam had completed a trip to Knowledge Park 3 in Greater Noida at around 7:30 am and then logged out of the system at 8:10 am before his arrest on way to Hathras. The cab aggregator reportedly said that Alam’s trip to Hathras was not booked through its platform.
Alam, who belonged to Rampur and worked as a craftsman there, had shifted to Delhi over a decade ago and started working as a driver in the city. According to the information provided by his family, Alam had started driving the cab owned by his relative only a week before his arrest, and did not know the other three as his work was only to ferry them to Hathras.
“His (Alam) only fault was to ferry them to Hathras. He did not know them previously. In fact, he was wearing his driver’s uniform when he was arrested. If I give a lift to a policeman, does that make one a policeman? Similarly if someone is guilty of something, he wouldn’t have known,” said 27-year-old Bushra, Alam’s wife.
His family said that he was not aware of the Hathras incident and before his arrest, Alam had called his wife to inform her that he had completed his duty to Greater Noida, following which he phone remained unreachable. Why would he be on duty he was involved in a conspiracy, questioned Bushra.
Alam’s lawyer, Sheik Moulali Basha, will move a bail application in the court in the coming two days. “We will present his driver records. We will try our best to get Alam some relief from the court,” he said.