Navi Mumbai resident Zuber Ahmad Khan, who declared on social media that he wants to give up his Indian citizenship to become an official spokesperson for the Islamic State (IS), was arrested by the Delhi police on Friday.
Zuber lives with his wife and two children at Neelam Heights building in Kharghar.
On Friday, when HT visited the building, the house was locked. However, a man, Fakhruddin Ahmad Khan, claiming to Zuber’s younger brother said the latter never supported the IS or any other terrorist groups in India.
“I am sure his social networking accounts were hacked to malign his image. We are three brothers who stay in Kharghar and we interact with each other on a regular basis. Zuber never told us anything about his plan to go abroad,” said Fakhruddin.
In his posts , Zuber had also called 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon a martyr.
According to Fakhruddin, Zuber went to Delhi to meet home minister Rajnath Singh. “He was upset about the atrocities being carried out against Muslims in India. As for his comments about Yakub Memon’s execution, he is entitled to freedom of speech, which is guaranteed by the Indian Constitution,” said Fakhruddin, describing his brother as a simple, peace loving person who even participated in Ganeshotsav and other pujas in the area.
“Zuber did his MA in political science and worked with several organisations. He wanted to be journalist and completed his Bachelors in Journalism from a private university just three months ago. He worked as a freelance writer with several newspapers and magazine,” he said.
When asked whether Zuber had any psychological problems, as the police suspect, Fakhruddin said, “He did not have a job for the past few years and he may have been depressed because of that. But we never felt that he had any psychological problems.”
Residents of the building shocked after learning about Zuber’s willingness to join the IS. Santosh Jha, a resident, said, “We shifted to this building in 2009 and he was staying here before that. We thought he was a lawyer. I saw him at a few society meetings, but never interacted with him.”
Vishwash Pandhare, deputy commissioner of police, zone 2, said, “We have gathered information about Zuber and his activities. But we don’t want to disclose anything at this moment.”