For Tariq Ahmed Dar’s family, life took a complete U-turn on September 15 last year. Dar, a top model in Dhaka, was arrested by Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion on charges of spying for Research and Analysis Wing.
“That day, for the first time, he did not answer our call. We thought he would call back, but there was no reply from his side,” said Fayaz, Dar’s younger brother. And then came the news that he had been picked-up by the police.
“I called Farooq Abdullah and told him about the incident. He then called up the Indian embassy officials in Bangladesh for help. We spoke to the Bangladeshi officials, but they were mum on the incident,” said Gulam Nabi Dar, Tariq’s father.
“No one was willing to listen to us,” he said. Tariq was behind bars for the last three months, and his father said that he suffered for no fault of theirs. "He never had terror links and was in Bangladesh for business," said Tariq’s father.
“I was shocked by the allegations that I was a RAW agent. The torture became unbearable for me,” Tariq said after his release.
It was only after the Amnesty International and some prominent citizens of Bangladesh took up the matter that Dar was deported to India. But his ordeal did not end there. He was arrested again by the Delhi Police Special Cell. “I arrived two days later and was shocked to hear that he had been arrested again,” his father said. It was the beginning of another long battle for the family.
“It was Tariq’s birthday on November 15, but there was no celebration. We just wanted him to come back,” said Imtiaz, his brother.
The family spent most of their time in Delhi, pleading with officials. “The family suffered huge losses. We could not pay any attention to our business. Tariq’s showroom in Dhaka had to be closed,” his father said. Tariq’s release has brought the cheer back in the family. “We will build everything soon,” Imtiaz said. The family now plans to go to the Nizamuddin Dargah for a thanksgiving ceremony.
Delhi Police rapped
Chief metropolitan Magistrate Seema Maini pulled up the Delhi Police for its role in the case.
“I cannot restrain myself from observing that an Indian citizen has been kept in custody for a period of 90 long days, which for an innocent person can actually be an entire lifetime,” Maini said in her order.
Maini rapped the police for failing to understand the meaning of the concept of "liberty" as enshrined in the Constitution by keeping him in custody. “Since there is no evidence against the accused in the instant case, as admitted by the prosecution itself, the accused is released,” Maini said. Delhi Police, which failed to file the chargesheet in the stipulated 90 days, had moved the application to discharge him. Perusing the records, Maini expressed her displeasure over the state of affairs — from the day the model was arrested till the Special Cell of the Delhi Police conceded that there was no evidence to nail him in the case. Public Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan said that two LeT militants arrested in August last year had named him in their interrogation, but collection of evidence became difficult as it was in a foreign country, he said.