How the police made SIMI president sing their tune

Malegaon: When Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur revealed her and Abhinav Bharat’s involvement in the terrorist attack in Malegaon on September 29, 2008. her accomplice, the serving Lt Col of the Indian army Prasad Shrikant Purohit told Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhya that she had started singing. The ATS also can make others “sing” different tunes as they desire.

Munawar Ahmad Muhammad Amin was the president of Students Islamic Movement of India of the Malegaon unit. The way Anti Terrorism Squad made him “sing” their tune is worth historic record. He headed SIMI from 1998 to 2003. Before him, Khalid was in charge of the organization in the town. Khalid is the cousin of Noorul Hoda, an accused in 2006 blasts and other cases. The secretary of his unit was another accused called Muhammad Zahid Abdul Majid.

Munawar states that he has been accused of inciting people and has been booked in eight cases at three police stations of the town, Killa and Ayesha Nagar. He has been given bail and has been reporting at these stations whenever the police demands. Since he became president, he has known Shabbir Masihullah who had a shop of imitation jewelry and gift items at Anjuman Chowk, situated at a stone’s throw from the SIMI office in Bhiku Chowk. He met Shabbir occasionally in the vicinity of the office and would tell him about the work of the organization. In the aftermath of the ban on SIMI, he was rendered jobless. It was then that Shabbir asked him to join him in a partnership business and start Gazal Dresses just above his Gazal gift and jewelry shop. Earlier, he had sold bone powder as fertilizer. Both of his business ventures ended in loss.

During the period in office and after the ban, the SIMI head of Kurla, Mumbai branch, Muhammad Ali aka Aziz, would visit Munawar. Munawar introduced Shabbir to him.

Muhammad Ali told them that Riyaz Bhatkal was sending some youth to Pakistan for training in arms. In June 2003, Shabbir travelled to Dubai to buy imitation jewelry for his shop. On his way back, he was searched at Katmandu and his jewelry was confiscated. (That he visited Pakistan for training is a canard spread by the police, he told this writer on September 12, 2012.)

Then in September-October 2003, a youth called Nafees Ahmed came to stay with Shabbir for a month and a half. Prantu sadar kalavdheet shabbier ani Nafees hey lapoon chapeen rahat ast. Mahnoon mi Shabbir kade barkaieeney chokshi keyli tehooan to aani Nafees dogey hi Muhammad Ali che sangneya Pakistan jaoon dahshatwad chey training aleyache tyane mala sangeet ley hotey (“But during this period Shabbir and Nafees were hiding and concealing themselves. Therefore, I closely inquired Shabbir about it and then he revealed that he and Nafees had gone to Pakistan and were trained in terrorist activity”) claims the ATS. Many youths would visit Shabbir and stay with him for a couple of days and then go away.

Is this what Munawar says or the ATS? The attitude of Munawar in this confession strangely shows disapproval of the youths, particularly Nafees. And of all the things this Dubai dukaracha maal aandneyasathi janayaas kahi harkat nahi parantu Pakistanat training la jaoo nako” (There is no problem in going to Dubai to purchase items for one’s shop but it is objectionable that he should go to Pakistan for training).

If SIMI is a terrorist organization according to India, how could a president of the organization say this to a potential recruit. Why would he reprimand him?

It shows the naked truth that the confession of Munawar is fake. There is more than one reason to believe this. The most important is that Munawar was also arrested by the police and was in jail along with the other nine accused. The other nine have wondered why he was let out of the prison. That he spent time with the nine is a well known fact to the nine accused and many others outside the jail, particularly for people in Malegaon. One of them is the former corporator of Jaffernager called Muhammad Ismail Mulla. He even submitted an affidavit that he had seen Munawar in the police van when the police was pretending that they were on the lookout for him.

SIMI was banned on September 19, 2001 as a fall out of al Qaeda attack in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. The Indian government at Centre was headed by the Hindutva party BJP leaders AB Vajpayee as Prime Minister and LK Advani as the Deputy PM and Home Minister.

The anti-Muslim weltanschauung created in the aftermath of the 9/11 came in as an opportunity for the Hindutva government to begin its own hidden agenda of framing Muslims and repressing them, or else what it was that they did? No Indian Muslim was involved even remotely in the 9/11 which even President George Bush asserted. Despite this, the Indian government banned the organization. Its massive police force and intelligence agencies had arms full of assignment to go after the members of the banned outfit.

They have the statement of Munawar and he was with them and was in the jail and yet today the police, the CBI and the NIA, claim he is an  absconder while he was very much in the police custody, in their own van and later in the prison. Who let him go and why?

The lesson this bogus case teaches us is the failure of school education. Had the administrators, police and investigators been taught critical thinking, they would not have made themselves fools for the world to laugh at them and the country to decry. There is no proof of Shabbir visiting Kurla. The additional chief secretary (Home) and secretary in charge of Home Department of Government of Maharashtra AP Sinha, who signed the order of arresting and prosecuting Shabbir, Nafis, Riyaz Ismail Bhatkal (r/o Qadar building, 1st floor, room no 17, Kurla Pipe road, Kurla West, Mumbai), Tarique Ismail Abdul Sattar, Muhammadd Ali Alam Shaikh aka Aziz should not have simply put his signature on the dotted line on behalf of the governor. He should have critically looked into the facts and discussed, howsoever briefly, to know that it was not fake or else it would bounce back on the forwarding authorities.

Since then Riyaz/Riyas Bhatkal has been claimed to be involved in all sorts of bomb attacks everywhere in Maharashtra and beyond. What is the degree of probability that he could be involved in so many crimes till the triple blasts in Mumbai on July 13, 2011 and the police be sleeping over his activities all along! Is he the wandering Jew in modern avatar of the wandering Muslim? How come the PSI Shripad Kale of Ghatkoper police station so solely dependent on his informants and so gullible that the informants could pull wools over his eyes and frame innocent people at will?

Muhammad Ali is also accused in the serial blasts in local trains of July 11, 2006 and he is consistently involved in other blasts or unlawful activities. Is it probable that Muhammad Ali aka Aziz in the custody of Kurla police would be so active to be free to conspire for another and a much larger terror attack of blowing bombs in Malegaon just over a month later? Ditto Shabbir. If Kale and Sinha be so obtuse, what about others who supervised, sanctioned and executed re-arrests of some of the Ghatkopar accused in Malegaon 2006 case? And why did the CBI take three years to tell the court that it did not find anything incriminating regarding the nine accused?

Still, two more years would pass before they could be given bail, albeit Muhammad Ali. And why could the chief minister of Maharashtra be so sensitive and prompt to act in the case of the  mute artist Aseem Truvedi and so insensitive alongwith his predecessors in office in the matter of the nine accused in Malegaon case and the five in the Ghatkopar case? Most of the accused were men without any criminal record and could not have even thought of being traitors to their country?

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2012 on page no. 9

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