A youth from Kanpur has written to the Chief Justices of Supreme Court and Allahabad High Court, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the National Human Rights Commission and the UP DGP, accusing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) of “harassing” him for close to two months. He has alleged that the agency summons him to its Lucknow office every three days, making him sit there all day on the “pretext” of questioning him over “links with terror suspects”.
In his complaint, 27-year-old Mohammad Atif wrote that the NIA would be responsible if “anything happens to him or his family.” His brother Mohammad Aquib claimed Atif last visited the agency’s office on May 5.
Sources in the NIA said Mohammad Atif was suspected of having links with the group of terror suspects arrested for their alleged involvement in the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast, which took place on March 7. He was also questioned to verify if he accompanied one of the arrested suspects — Atif Muzaffar — to Lucknow where the latter allegedly planted a bomb near a Ramlila ground during Dussehra celebrations, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on October 11 last year.
Muzaffar, Danish Akhtar and Syed Mir Hussain had been arrested by Madhya Pradesh police soon after the train blast. One of their associates, Saifullah, was killed in an encounter with the UP ATS in Lucknow the same day.
“Over the last month, NIA has called Atif to their office in Lucknow around 15 times…,” claimed Aquib, businessman. He further alleged that his brother’s signatures had been taken on blank papers, and that the ordeal had left him depressed, even pushing to attempt suicide.
According to police sources, Atif Muzaffar had during interrogation revealed details about planting a bomb near the Ramlila ground last October. When the bomb did not explode, he went to the spot two days later to find the polythene bag containing the explosive missing, sources said. Atif Muzaffar had also allegedly revealed that he had gone to Lucknow on October 11 with two of his friends from Kanpur, one of which the agency suspects was Mohammad Atif.
Sources said that Mohammad Atif has so far denied having any knowledge of whether Atif Muzaffar had planted a bomb.
A resident of Jajmau locality, the youth works at an embroidery unit in Kanpur. He stays with his father Parvez Akhtar, wife Gulnaz Bano and two children, the youngest born a fortnight ago.