At least one of the four Muslim youths let off by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after being picked up in connection with an Islamic State terror plot, got into trouble because of his al-Baghdadi surname, a rights group has alleged.
The family of Abdul Qader Mohsin Mahmood al-Baghdadi, 32, who was one of the 11 arrested from the old quarters of the city on June 29, is of Arab descent and his forefathers hailed from Baghdad. The Hyderabad-based Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee that probed the latest arrests says the family surname – shared by IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, “doubled the trouble” for Qader.
While five of the 11 were arrested immediately, Qader and five others were let off by the NIA the next day.
They were, however, made to visit the police station every day for questioning for the next two weeks, when two of them were arrested. Qader and three others were given a clean chit.
The police said the four including Qader were not part of any terror conspiracy and therefore no longer needed for questioning. Those arrested include the suspected chief of an alleged IS module, Niamatulla Hussaini.
According to Lateef Khan of the monitoring committee, Qader was also grilled about his opinion on Hindus and Christians, besides being asked about the IS at the CRPF camp in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana.
Attempts by HT to get a response from the NIA did not get any response. Rights groups and Muslim elders of old Hyderabad have often accused the investigation agency of targeting Muslim youths. Several youngsters from the city arrested in the past over alleged links to bombings and terror plots have been acquitted by courts after years-long ordeals. Lawyers of those let off meanwhile said the four have gone into hiding. “It appears the NIA authorities have strictly warned them not to talk to media and reveal what had transpired during the questioning,” lawyer Ghulam Rabbabi who argued for them in the court, told HT. Another advocate Abdul Jabbar Siddiqui, who had been fighting against their arrests for the last two weeks, was also clueless about the whereabouts of the acquitted youth.
“They have not got in touch with me for the last few days. Siddiqui said. Most of those arrested are from the Talabkatta, Chandrayangutta, Hashimabad and Chattabazar neighbourhoods of old Hyderabad.