“Woh dekho, Abrar khabri ka baap jaa raha hai [There goes the father of Abrar the informer]. That’s how people would refer to me whenever I stepped out,” 84-year-old Ghulam Mohammed Ahmed Saeed recalls, his voice quivering.
Saeed and his family have lived in trauma for the last four years since his son, Abrar Ahmed, 33, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the 2006 serial blasts in Malegaon, turned approver.
The insults were too much for Saeed, who was elected councillor twice. He cannot find a groom for his daughter because no one wants to be associated with the family of someone who has not only been accused in a bomb blast case but is also being suspected of having taken money from the police to frame others. “People say Abrar took lakhs of rupees to turn approver and he gave that money to us,” Saeed said.
Families of the 13 men, including Abrar, who were arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blasts that killed 37 people, have demanded that they be released since Hindutva leader Swami Aseemanand has confessed to his role in the blast. Abrar has been in jail since late 2006 and the police claim he is the prime witness in the case.
“No one suspected Abrar’s involvement because everyone knew that a Muslim would not attack a fellow Muslim or a place of worship but when he turned approver the entire village turned against us,” Abrar’s older brother, Khaleel, said.
After Abrar turned approver, the family cut off from him for two-and-a-half years. Abrar retracted his statement in November 2009. He alleged that he had turned approver under pressure from senior police officers, including then district superintendent of police, Rajvardhan.
Rajvardhan said there was nothing new in the allegations. “Their affidavit was quashed by the Bombay high court,” he said. When asked about Aseemanand’s confession Rajvardhan said the case was handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation. “Their charge sheet was same as ours. Ask them this.” Abrar’s family alleges that the police had taken him to Indore and Ujjain where he met some Hindu religious leaders and defence personnel. “He has stated all this in his latest statement,” Khaleel said.
The family has demanded narco tests and brain mapping of all officers, who probed the case.