“Dilkash kidhar hai (Where is Dilkash)?” is a question that a 14-year-old attendant, who works at Taqi Ahmed’s luggage shop in Shaheen Bagh, has been asked by three different Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officers everyday for the last three days.
Used to being called Dilkash — a nickname given to him by his parents — Taqi, the brother of an ‘informal’ Delhi Police informer Naqi, now finds himself caught between the devil and the deep sea and usually moving from one location to another to avoid being tracked.
“Ever since they located my shop in Delhi , ATS officers have been visiting it posing as customers everyday,” said Taqi, whose younger brother Naqi has been in ATS custody in Mumbai since Thursday morning.
“They confiscated Naqi’s laptop and Blackberry phone on Wednesday evening and now all they want is to get their hands on me, so that I too meet Naqi’s fate,” Taqi said.
Officers from Maharashtra ATS were not available for comment despite repeated attempts.
Supposed to help a special team of the Delhi Police in locating two Pakistani bombers, Waqas and Tabrez — who the former believe could have led them to Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh — the brothers are now officially on their own.
“My brother is being tortured in Mumbai by the ATS, officers from the same agency are hunting for me in Delhi and another team is harassing my parents at our ancestral home in Bihar’s Darbhanga,” Taqi said.
“And the men who put him up to it, officers from the Delhi Police, are asking us to file petitions in courts so that he gets justice.”
Just the thought of next week, when his brother Naqi is due to be produced at a Mumbai court, is enough to elicit tears from Taqi, who approached the National Minorities Commission on Thursday.
“I talked to him over the phone yesterday. He said they’re hitting him every ten minutes. God knows what they’ll make him admit under pressure,” Taqi feared.