When Ammar sought his help, Abdul Wahid did not think twice. “Ammar bhai was going to Saudi Arabia on Umrah (pilgrimage) and he called me to help him with certain aspects of it. He also wanted to learn a bit of Arabic,” Abdul told Newsline on Monday.
Both Ammar and Abdul were picked up by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Sunday morning from Abul Fazal Enclave in Jamia Nagar for suspected links with the Indian Mujahideen. They were released late at night.
Both were picked up from a room rented to a 29-year-old man named Danish, who works at a private firm in Noida. All three — 20-year-old Abdul (from Giridih in Jharkhand), Danish and Ammar (both from Dhanbad) — know each other.
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Ammar had called Danish on March 21, asking him if he could stay at his room in Delhi for a day before leaving for Umrah on Monday.
Ammar and Abdul arrived in the city on March 22 and stayed in Danish’s flat.
On Sunday morning, it was Abdul who opened the door at 7 am to find at least 12 officers from the Special Cell looking for Ammar. “He was still sleeping. They asked me which one of us is Ammar and I pointed at him. They asked me to wake him up,” Abdul said.
While police told Ammar that he needed to accompany them for questioning, one officer suggested that Abdul too should come along. “They took his luggage, locked the room and then took us to the Lodhi Road police station,” he said.
“We were questioned separately and we were honest with our replies. They asked us about our lives and we told them everything… where I came from and what I did,” Abdul said.
Both Ammar and Abdul were kept at the Special Cell headquarters for nearly 14 hours and questioned several times. “They never mentioned anything about Indian Mujahideen. However, they kept saying ‘aap logon ke aur saathi hain jo aa rahe hain (there are some more friends of yours who are coming here),” he said.
After questioning, both were told that they cannot be let off without someone vouching for their identities. “Ammar bhai called his friend Qamran with whom he was going to travel to Madinah. He hired a taxi and came to pick us up from the police station,” Abdul said.
Around 11 pm, amid protests by residents of the area, the two returned to Jamia Nagar. “I spoke to my parents. They were worried and told me to be cautious about the company I keep,” Abdul, a student of Arabic at Jamia Millia Islamia, said.