Our Son Was Arrested in Delhi a Month Before Police Announced it, Allege Parents of Jaish Suspect
The Delhi police had also claimed that Sajjad Ahmad Khan is a 'likely suspect in the conspiracy' of February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which a Jaish trained suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF jawans.
Sajjad Khan (27), a resident of Pulwama was arrested near Delhi's Lajpat Rai market on March 21. (PTI Photo)
Srinagar: Denying the National Investigation Agency’s claim that Delhi police arrested alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad militant Sajjad Ahmad Khan on March 21 around Delhi’s Red Fort, his parents have claimed that he was in Delhi Police’s custody since a month, but the arrest was announced later.
Ghulam Nabi Khan, father of Sajjad, said that he learnt about the arrest of his son a month ago, around February 22. “I got to know that Sajjad and six other people working with him have been arrested by Delhi Police,” said Khan, adding that he travelled to Delhi and met police officials.
“The other six people were released after some time. When I asked police that why they arrested my son, they said that he will be released after some time,” Khan told News18.
Ghulam said Sajjad, who belonged to Pulwama’s Tral, worked as a shawl vendor with six others in Delhi.
Delhi Police’s Special Cell had claimed that Sajjad is a suspected Jaish terrorist and was “specially sent to Delhi to carry out reconnaissance of important targets and to set up a hideout in the capital”.
The statement said that he was tasked to select specific targets, radicalize and recruit Muslim youth of UP and other states. “Providing them with weapon training and field craft were also part of his responsibilities apart from raising funds and collecting weapons.”
“Sajjad was staying under the guise of a Shawl vendor,” Delhi Police has alleged.
However, the family has rubbished the charges and have said that their son is innocent.
The Delhi police had also claimed that he is a “likely suspect in the conspiracy” of February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which a Jaish trained suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF jawans.
Sajjad has been described by Delhi Police as the first person who was contacted by Mudasir Khan, one of the main conspirators of Pulwama attack, after the suicide car bombing. “On the day of Pulwama terror attack, Mudasir contacted Sajjad on Whatsapp and informed that they have carried out the operation. Mudasir then sent him the video of Adil Dar (fidayeen), which he deleted from his phone,” Delhi Police said in a statement.
The Delhi Police claimed that on the instructions of Mudassir, Sajjad moved to Delhi to establish a sleeper cell of JeM.
Presently, Sajad is in the custody of NIA as Delhi Police has handed him over to them as they are investigating the Pulwama terror attack.
“He is in our custody till March 29,” NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal told News18.
“He would go to Delhi every winter since last four years to sell shawls. We encouraged it because we wanted him to be away from the disturbed situation in Kashmir,” said his father. Sajjad’s parents say that he was in Delhi from November so he cannot be involved in something that happened in Kashmir in February.
“When I met police officials in Delhi they didn’t allow me to meet him but promised that he will be released soon. I came home but then there came news of his arrest,” he said.
Sajjad’s family says that he is being framed in the case because of his two brothers who were Jaish militants and were killed. Ghulam admitted that two of his sons Ishfaq and Showkat were militants and had died in encounters with security forces.
Khan, 54, was a carpenter, but since the killing of his two sons, remains confined to home. “Sajjad was now our only hope and breadwinner,” said Ghulam. His sons, Ishfaq Ahmad Khan, was killed on April 24, 2018 while Showkat Ahmad Khan was killed on October 30, 2018.
Reacting to the arrest of Sajjad in Delhi, Kashmir’s local police said that they didn’t have any case against Sajjad. “He has been arrested by Delhi police. We don’t have anything against Sajad and there isn’t anything by which we can link him to the Pulwama attack,” said a Jammu & Kashmir police official who didn’t want to be named.
“We are already a shattered family. I have lost my two sons, I can’t afford losing him,” said his father Ghulam while breaking down into tears.
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