Six-year-old Shifa isn’t even aware where her father has been for the last two days. When asked, she says innocently, “He is out.”
Shifa is the elder daughter of Abdul Latif, known as Guddu to his family and friends, who was arrested by the ATS on Sunday on terror charges.
Abdul’s family lives on the third floor of Haji Chawl, a makeshift shanty that is supported by rickety staircases and can be approached by walking over sewer pipelines that double up as approach roads.
Abdul’s wife Nusrat Bano (27) ushers us into the small room, which has a refrigerator. The belongings are all strewn around as the police had searched the house a little while ago.
“Four men had come and they searched the house,” Nusrat says adding that they left without finding “anything” in the house. “They made me sign a paper which they said was a report of the search,” she adds.
Putting the things back in their place, Nusrat breaks down, “I got worried when my husband did not return on Friday night and started looking around for him. I was fearing the worst and then I got a call on Saturday night saying that police have taken him.” Nusrat says she was asked to visit the Kalachowkie unit of the ATS.
“I was there this morning and waited for hours but I could not get to meet him,” she continues, her voice choking. “I have two daughters. What will happen to them?”
Nusrat and Abdul have been married for eight years. The younger daughter is two. Abdul works as a salesman at a shop at Lohar Chawl in Crawford Market. He sells plastic covers for refrigerators and TVs.
Abdul is the youngest of the three children and has an elder brother and a sister. His father is also a salesman and sells
loincloth and towels at a nearby market.
Abdul’s mother Hanifa Bi (55) says that her son has studied till class nine and is not into any kind of illegal activity. “Some one has framed him. He could not do any wrong,” she said.
They say Abdul has never been away from home. “He earns Rs 200 a day and is a simple man,” his mother says.