A six-member delegation of the Anjuman-e-Haideri, the body that governs the Jorbagh Karbala, was allegedly detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday night and prevented from going to Iraq.
The group, headed by Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, was to fly to Iraq to “help fight the terror of ISIS” by facilitating the movement of volunteers from India who would help with relief and rehabilitation as well as the security of shrines under threat. Members of the delegation, however, said they were detained at the airport and then at the IGIA police station for more than two hours and told they had been stopped on the basis of “look out circulars” issued by the Intelligence Bureau.
Mehmood Pracha, legal advisor to the Anjuman, said the circular was illegal. “The look out circulars issued against our outfit’s delegates are illegal and so is the forcible detention of delegates by Delhi Police. Such a notice is issued against fugitives from the law. We will move court against these acts,” Pracha said.
“Our travel plans were shared with the MEA and home ministry and there are official documents to prove this. This shows they only intended to stop us from travelling to Iraq or they should have arrested the delegates,” he said.
Jawwad said they were only going to serve humanitarian needs and the Iraqi government had in fact thanked them for their efforts. “Volunteers had offered to donate blood for the victims, offer medical and other professional help for rehabilitation of internally displaced persons in Iraq because of the tyranny of the ISIS. The government stopping us sends an incorrect message,” he said.
Jawwad, who has so far spoken in favour of the Narendra Modi government, also threatened to stop his support if the matter was not resolved. “We want to give this government a chance, but we may take back our support if they don’t address this matter. And before an Assembly election, that will be harmful to them,” he said.
Delhi Police and the airport authorities remained unavailable for comment.