Arrested on charges of being a LeT man, family says otherwise

Srinagar: The family and friends of alleged Lashkar militant Bilal Ahmad Kawa today staged a protest in Lal Chowk’s Press Colony against his arrest in New Delhi.

The family alleged that he is being framed by the Indian agencies.

“It is very unfortunate that his photograph was shown as that of a terrorist,” Zubair, a family member said.

He said that he has been regularly visiting Delhi for so many years, so “why he has been framed now?”

The Delhi Police and Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested Kawa at the Delhi airport on Wednesday. The joint operation took place after the Gujarat ATS informed the Delhi Police that Bilal Ahmed Kawa, who had been declared a proclaimed offender in the case, was travelling from Srinagar to Delhi.

According to the reports, quoting police sources, the Gujarat ATS received a tip-off that Kawa would be on a flight to Delhi. On the basis of the information, the joint team nabbed him from the airport just after he landed.

During interrogation, Kawa reportedly told police that over the last 18 years, he changed his location frequently but had been living in Kashmir for the time being. Sources said he was on his way to meet his brother in Delhi.

However, the family said that Kawa was travelling to Delhi with his brother who was scheduled to see a doctor.

“If he was suspicious, why did not they arrest him before,” said another relative of Kawa. The families alleged that Indian national media has made him a ‘terrorist’ without confirming the basic facts. He was raising his family in his home here in Srinagar. The media along with police is framing him without any proof”.

The family said that Kawa has a business which deals in pelts and hides and he owns a godown on Chamelian Road in New Delhi. They said Kawa was a frequent traveler to the place owing to his business engagements. He was arrested from Delhi’s IGI airport on January 10.

Pertinently, on December 22, 2000, three Indian Army personnel were killed in indiscriminate firing at Red Fort. While at least 11 people have been convicted in the case, Kawa was allegedly absconding.

Meanwhile, the family requested Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to look into the matter and take a personal interest in the case. The family also said that Kawa was a minor when the Red Fort attack took place in 2000.

Pertinently, Bilal Ahmad Kawa was sent to a 10-day police remand by a Delhi court on Thursday.



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