The father of a terror suspect from Azamgarh — a software engineer with Wipro, now out on bail — on Thursday led 2,000 parents and youths to protest the “defiling” of their native place as a nursery of homegrown terror.
The participants — parents and youths from Azamgarh — arrived on a specially hired train, named the Ulema Express
“On its way back, the train will be designated as the Batla House Express,” cleric Amir Rashadi told HT. Three alleged terrorists from Azamgarh were gunned down in the Batla House area of Delhi last September.
Rashadi’s son Talha Amir was picked up by the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police from the Patna-Secunderbad Express from near Nagpur last month, while he was on his way to join work at Hyderabad. Talha was said to be in touch with Atif Ameen, one of the Batla House terror suspects.
Talha was released by Nagpur police after a Nagpur court accepted his bail application on January 3 as the Maharashtra ATS told the court they were not seeking his further police remand.
Now, Talha has become a rallying point for hundreds of Azmis, as people hailing from Azamgarh call themselves. They allege he was “framed”.
“About 150 youths from Azamgarh have gone missing. They were picked up by police and never returned,” Rashadi claimed. “Where are your human rights activists?” he asked.
The protestors arrived at the Old Delhi Railway Station amid tight security early Thursday. They were escorted to the Jantar Mantar area by a group of paramilitary and police personnel after they arrived at a heavily guarded platform number A1.
The train was not allowed to halt at any station between Kanpur and New Delhi for security reasons.
“We want a judicial inquiry into the Batla House killing. That’s all,” Muntazir Alam, a relative of slain Batla House terrorist Mohd Sajid said.
“Awarding the Ashok Chakra to M.C. Sharma (the police inspector killed in the Batla shootout) will hurt out demand for an independent probe,” Rashadi, convener of the Ulema Council, said.