For his family members, relatives and neighbours belonging to his community, Mohammad Ahmad Kazmi was a man of truth. And it was his habit of speaking the truth that has now landed him in trouble.
Kazmi is a freelance journalist and has been arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the bomb attack on an Israel embassy vehicle.
While the investigators who apprehended him on Tuesday afternoon from outside the India Islamic Cultural Centre claimed they had sufficient evidence against him, Kazmi’s family members allege that he has been framed in a false case.
“My husband is innocent and he has paid for speaking the truth. He has been arrested for speaking out in favour of Iran and against Israel as well as America in a talk show on a news channel. Our Khuda (God) is with us and he will dispense justice,” said Jahan Ara, 53, Kazmi’s wife. Ara was later seen praying at a dargah.
Kazmi, a native of Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, came to Delhi with his family nearly 25 years ago. Earlier, they lived in Welcome area of northeast Delhi. Eight years ago, they bought a house near Karbala (a Shia shrine) in the BK Dutt colony of Jor Bagh and have lived here since then. Kazmi’s is the only Muslim family living in the area.
Besides running a news channel, Kazmi used to freelance for some Urdu newspapers and for a national Urdu news channel.
“It is a fact that in India if a person from our community rises economically, he or she will be suppressed anyhow. We have been living in Delhi for the past 25 years but never faced any problem. Today, we have been targeted just because he favoured Iran and worked for an Iranian radio channel,” said the daughter-in-law of Kazmi’s elder brother, who refused to disclose her name.
Kazmi’s arrest has not only shocked his relatives and neighbours, but has also disturbed his 18-year-old younger son who has been preparing hard for his ongoing Class 12 exams. According to Kazmi’s relatives, the teenager has gone into depression ever since he has learnt about his father's arrest. Kazmi’s elder son has completed his graduation and is now looking for a job.
Kazmi, who owns a news channel called ‘Media Star’ and volunteers as an English language coach at India Islamic Cultural Centre, was coming home for lunch when he was picked up by the police.
Asked how they came to know that Kazmi has been arrested, the second daughter-in-law of Kazmi’s elder brother said a phone call intimated the family about the incident.
“The call was made around 9pm by a who man identified himself as a policeman. Around half an hour later, five-six policemen in plain clothes arrived at our house along with my father-in-law and carried out a search operation for some minutes. They then seized his laptop and some other articles and left with him,” she said.