Dressed in a traditional Muslim attire, 50-year-old madarsa teacher Noor-ul-Huda walked out of Tihar jail on Friday evening with a grim face.
It was his appearance — a beard, a white kurta pyjama and a skull cap — that led to him spending almost 60 hours in jail, facing a volley of questions on his background and education.
Huda was offloaded from an Emirates flight and later arrested when an NRI woman on the adjacent seat heard him say “15-20 minute mein jahaj udne wala hai”.
This can be translated both as “the plane will take off in 15-20 minutes” and “the plane will blow up in 15-20 minutes”.
Huda was on his way to deliver a religious lecture in Dubai when he was arrested on Wednesday.
On Friday, a city court granted him bail.
Police hinted they could drop charges against Huda.
“A policeman told me my beard (appearance) got me here. They asked me odd questions about what a madarsa is and where is Deoband,” said a harried Huda, a father of five and associated with a Deoband seminary in Uttar Pradesh.
Huda was talking on a mobile phone to his third son — Fazlullah Noor (18) — when the NRI woman smelt a rat and informed the cabin crew.
Within minutes, Huda was whisked away and interrogated at length by police and Intelligence officials.
An hour later, Noor got a call on his phone that his father has been detained for questioning.
“Islam teaches harmony and peace and I am a teacher myself. I would never imagine doing otherwise,” said Huda.
“When I asked the police about my fault, they said I had said something on phone and they need to check my passport, documents and luggage. I have been flying for the past ten years but this never happened to me.”
Even Huda’s son was interrogated when he came to meet his father.
“I was questioned about my future plans,” said an angry Noor.
Police said they were now mulling to drop the case.
He was booked under Section 505 1(B) IPC — statements conducing to public mischief.
“There is a gap between the statement of the complainant and version of the accused. We would chargesheet him only if we get the evidence, otherwise we would request the court to discharge him,” said Y.S. Dadwal, commissioner of police.
Police have made the NRI woman a complainant in the case.