Sons picked up, families cry innocence
The Sheikh couple was in shock on Sunday after they learnt that their elder son Riyaz Ali (25) and elder son-in-law Abdul Latif (35) were arrested by the ATS.mumbai Updated: Mar 15, 2010 01:09 IST
The Sheikh couple was in shock on Sunday after they learnt that their elder son Riyaz Ali (25) and elder son-in-law Abdul Latif (35) were arrested by the ATS.
Both families denied all the claims made by police.
“Riyaz has been framed. He is not a terrorist. We have never had any association with Pakistan,” said Abu Bakr Sheikh (60), Riyaz’s father.
Riyaz is the third of four children. The family has lived in Mumbai for the past 50 years.
According to the family, Riyaz left the house around 10.30 am on Friday with his father and mother and did not return since then.
“All of us left together for work. Thinking that he might have gone to meet his friends, I did not bother much when he did not return in the night,” said Aziza, adding that Riyaz did not have any vices. “He never smoked or consumed alcohol.”
On Saturday night, the police called Riyaz’s father and asked if he wanted to meet him. “I told them it would be too late by the time I reached Kalachowkie, to which they suggested that I could meet him the next day. But they never told us why had they arrested Riyaz,” Abu Bakr said.
When Shifa (6) was asked where her father Abdul had been for the last two days, she said “he is out”.
Shifa is the elder daughter of Abdul, known as Guddu to his family and friends. The family lives in a makeshift shanty is supported by rickety staircases.
Abdul’s wife Nusrat Bano (27) said four men came and searched the house and left without finding “anything”. “They made me sign a paper which they said was a report of the search.”
Then she broke 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 said she was asked to visit the Kala Chowkie unit of the ATS.
“I was there this morning and waited for hours but could not get to meet him,” she continues, trying to cover her face. “I have two daughters. What will happen to them?”
Abdul’s mother Hanifa Bi (55) said her son studied till Class IX, had never been away from home and was not involved in any kind of illegal activity. “Someone has framed him. He could not do any wrong,” she said.
“He earns Rs 200 a day and is a very simple man.”