The Ethiopian wife of suspected Indian Mujahideen member Uzair Ahmed, allegedly involved in serial blasts that shook Patna on Sunday, curses the day when she came to live in Ranchi 12 years ago.
“Is this the land of Gandhi, who preached equality, communal harmony and brotherhood?” asked 32-year-old Fatuma with tears in her eyes.
Questioning the credibility of accusations against her 37-year-old husband, she said, “But for my husband and children, I do not feel like spending even a day here.”
The NIA team arrested her husband on Wednesday evening from their residence in Doranda, a densely populated slum in the midst of Ranchi city. He was produced before the chief judicial magistrate on Wednesday and was sent on three-day remand.
An accused in the Delhi bomb blast case, Uzair’s arrest came four days after the serial blasts. The Ranchi module of IM has been blamed for the blast, putting the state capital on the terror map.
The NIA team has told the Jharkhand court that Uzair has been booked under Unlawful Activity Prevention Act and would be produced in Patiala House Court on November1.
Fatuma is morose but refuses to accept any of the charges against her husband. She says her husband is a devout Muslim who would not indulge in any unlawful activity condemned by Islam.
Ever since the NIA team took her husband away, the mother of three children hasn’t caught a wink of sleep. There is a constant flow of visitors to her under-construction two-storey house in a dingy lane of the area. She discusses the issue with everyone, hoping she will get some support for her husband.
“Look at my misfortune,” she said lamenting having come out of pardah (veil) and interacting with strangers and men. “Islam prohibits women from interacting with unknown men. Given the present situation I cannot remain in veil and fight for my husband’s release.”
A diploma-holder in electrical engineering, Uzair had gone to Ethiopia to work for a multinational company. He met Fatuma there who was only 16 at that time. They got marries and lived in the African country for three-and-a-half years.
They returned to Ranchi where Uzair took up the job of an electrical supervisor with a newspaper. The couple has been living happily with their children in Ranchi since then.
In his spare time, Uzair used to go to a local Islamic library and teach Arabic and religion to local youths. Fatuma said her husband stuck to a disciplined routine that revolved around office, family and prayers.
“Ask the neighbours and they would vouch for his austerity and discipline,” she said as her younger son, four-year-old Zakariah comes and sits on her lap. She said she would fight till the end for her husband. (With Inputs from Deepak Mahato)