Indian doc petrified, punished for unfortunate acquaintance
Life for Indian doctor Mohammed Asif Ali, who was released on Wednesday by the Australian Police after being held in connection with the failed UK terror attacks, will not be the same anymore.
Ali, according to police, made an "unfortunate acquaintance" in his friendship with his fellow doctor and compatriot Mohamed Haneef, also detained in connection with the terror plot, and ended up almost being branded a terrorist by a section of the media.
The 26-year-old doctor, who arrived in Australia six months ago, has had his world turned upside down in the past 48 hours, simply because he agreed to mind some things for his friend, Haneef.
Ali was lying low on Wednesday, as media staked out his apartment just two blocks from the Gold Coast Hospital where he worked.
When reporters managed to get Ali on his mobile phone, he begged to be left alone, saying he was extremely tired and just wanted to sleep. "I don't know anything," he said. The manager of his apartment block said the doctor was "petrified" after his ordeal.
He was unwittingly caught up in a manhunt after police detained Haneef at Brisbane Airport late on Monday on suspicion of having been in contact with members of a group involved in a British car bomb plot.
Police kicked in Ali's door the next morning, and spent the next day rifling through his apartment, and combing Haneef's car.
It was almost last midnight before police finished questioning Ali. Police sources described him as a man who had simply made an unfortunate acquaintance.