The family of Ajaz Sayeed Shaikh (24), an IT professional who has been missing since February 15, on Thursday said he was not a terrorist and that he left home because he was debt-ridden. Ajaz is the brother-in-law of Mohsin Choudhary, a suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative wanted in the German Bakery bomb blast case.
Ajaz’s father Sayeed Abdul Qadar Shaikh and mother Halima told a news conference that Ajaz should not be called a terrorist because he is the kin of Mohsin. “Ajaz is educated. He is not communal minded. He left home on February 15 saying he was going to Bangalore for a job interview at a new company. But he did not return. We tried to search for him for a few days. On February 19, we lodged a missing person report with the Khadak police. We also informed the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS),” said Sayeed. The family had also put up posters of Ajaz at different spots in Bangalore, hoping to find him.
His parents said a few days after Ajaz went missing, recovery agents from two banks contacted them saying he had taken loans of nearly Rs 3 lakh, but had stopped paying installments. Ajaz also got Rs 14,000 through his credit card at a shoe shop in Koregaon Park on January 11, 2013, on the plea that his mother was unwell.
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“He was debt-ridden. He went missing only because of his financial problems. Even at the time of his marriage he had taken a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh from his friends. I had to repay this loan. He thought I would get angry on knowing about his financial irregularities. So he never told me about his financial matters. He may have taken loans for luxuries such as expensive clothes,” said Sayeed.
Parents said they were upset as some media reports mentioned Ajaz as a ‘missing terrorist’.
“We appeal to the media not to brand him as a terrorist. We want him to return. Family will do something for repaying his loan,” said his mother. Advocate M M Sayyad said legal action will be taken against the media calling that Ajaz a ‘terrorist’. Family said Mohsin Choudhary got married to Ajaz’s sister in 2001. Mohsin apparently went ‘missing’ in 2008.
Anjum Inamdar of Rashtrapremi Kruti Samiti, Babasaheb Patil of Chhava yuva Sanghatna, Jahidbhai of Maharashtra Action Committee, Ramesh Rakshe of Bharaty Mukti Morcha, were also present at the news conference.
Ajaz’s father said he had left his cellphone at home and only took the SIM card when he left for Bangalore. “Cops should look for him and get him back,” he said. Ajaz is married and has a son. A commerce graduate, he has done a computer course and worked at a private firm in Kharadi.