Her son is accused in a series of bombings that have killed more than 140 people this year, including last week’s blasts in Delhi; he is the country’s most wanted man.
It can’t be easy being the mother of Abdus Subhan Qureshi, the computer-savvy bomb-maker who has put his signature on every major terror attack in India since the train blasts in Mumbai in 2006, but 60-year-old Zubeida Qureshi emerged on Wednesday from her one-bedroom flat in Mira Road to face the glare of flashbulbs and search for sound bites — and to talk about her son, who is being seen as India’s Osama bin Laden.
“I want him to come back and stand trial,” she said, addressing a packed press conference at the Marathi Patrakar Sangh. “He should clarify the allegations of terror levelled against him.”
Her voice trembled a little when she spoke, and she only twice removed her black hijab. “If he is found guilty, I would appeal that he be hanged in front of me. So that nobody else dares do such an act again,” she said, her eyes glistening.
She said Qureshi — convent-educated and now 36 years old — had moved out of his parents' home to a flat in Mira Road seven years ago, and that she had not seen him since he abandoned that flat — and his wife and three children — in July 2006. Zubeida, along with her husband Usman (65), a former cattle seller, now lives in the Mira Road flat with Qureshi’s wife and children.
Although the family did not know where Qureshi was after the train bombings, they did not lodge a missing complaint. “We do not even know whether he is dead or alive now,” said the family’s lawyer, Mobin Solkar. “On interrogation after the train bombings, the family did not want to trace him.”
Having obtained a diploma in industrial electronics from Bharatiya Vidyapeeth in 1995, Qureshi did a series of part- and full-time jobs in software firms. The trail runs cold in March 2001, when he quit the software firm, Datamatics. “He must have worked somewhere," said Solkar. "We have no idea on how he fed his family.”
The police said Qureshi worked as editor and publisher of a Delhi-based magazine, Islamic Movement.