Rajasthan Police accompanied by Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police raided the house of Shahbaz Hussain, arrested in connection with blasts in Jaipur and now on Police remand there, in Molviganj, Lucknow for search past midnight on 29 August 2008 and house and office today, 30 August 2008, in the afternoon.
Shahbaz used to stay at his father-in-law Abdul Moid’s house along with his wife and three little children. The police took away all literature present in the house including newspapers, a cheque for Rs 15,000 in the name of ‘Zyna Computers’ given by one of the students and Rs 1000 cash from the purse of Shahbaz’s wife Shadaf. Shahbaz used to run a computer training centre and a consultancy.
Today they took away a battery from the house and made Abdul Moid (father-in-law) sign on three blank papers. Upon receiving this information from Abdul Moid’s son some of us rushed to the shop where the search was going on.
When we enquired from the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy SP) Sangram Singh, who had come for conducting the search operations from Rajasthan, about the purpose of getting Abdul Moid’s signature on blank papers, he said they were going to draw the map of house and office on them. He didn’t explain what the third paper will be used for. When we requested him to give a copy of what is written or drawn on these sheets of paper to Abdul Moid, he told us to come to the ATS office after a couple of hours.
When Abdul Moid and myself reached ATS office, the officer from Rajasthan was gone. We insisted that we would like to speak to the officer in-charge. When we communicated the purpose of our being there to this officer, who had come out to see us at the reception, he particularly got mad at the charge of Rs 1000 having been taken away from Abdul Moid’s house. He raised his voice and said we were accusing him of theft. I suggested him not to raise his voice. He could have simply denied the charge. On this he ordered his men to throw us out of the office. I protested and said that he cannot take somebody’s signature on blank piece of paper.
After this we were abused and pushed out of the premises of ATS office by his men. The ATS and Rajasthan Police are obviously busy concocting evidence and using their unlimited powers arrogantly. Whether Shahbaz was involved in the Jaipur blasts or not will be decided by the investigation and the judicial process but the highhanded behaviour of police and ATS makes one suspect of how they implicate people.
[DR SANDEEP PANDEY is a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee (2002) for emergent leadership, heads the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) and did his PhD from University of California, Berkeley in control theory which is applicable in missile technology. He taught at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur before devoting his life to strengthening people’s movements. He can be contacted at: ashaashram@yahoo. Com or Landline Phone: 0522-2347365 or Mobile: 9415022772]