In June this year, Mohammed Merazuddin could have been a mechanical engineer. Instead, three months after he was detained briefly by the Delhi Police for alleged links with the Indian Mujahideen (IM), the 22-year-old is at Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat, cut off entirely from the world of science and technology that he had chosen for himself.
Suspended by his college, Jaipur’s Global Institute of Technology (GIT), after his detention, Merazuddin, or Meraz, has not been allowed back, says his family.
“I have taken away his phone, and sent him to the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi. He is living there with the maulvis and learning about the work of prophets. It is for his spiritual reformation. Reaching out to Muslims, preaching to them, will bring him closer to Islam,” Meraz’s father, Mohammed Niazuddin, a train driver, said.
Meraz, a fourth year B.Tech student, was picked up early on March 23 by the Delhi Police from a house in Jaipur that he shared with alleged IM operative Waqar Azhar, a fellow mechanical engineering student accused of plotting a terror attack during the Lok Sabha elections. Meraz was alleged to have lent his laptop to Waqar.
However, the Delhi Police released Meraz within 18 hours, handing him over to his father after completing a few formalities in the capital.
But Meraz’s college suspended him, citing media reports. Says Niazuddin, “After what Meraz went through, his college, his friends, relatives, everyone abandoned him. They all asked questions that made him uncomfortable.”
In the circumstances, Niazuddin said, Tablighi Jamaat “was the best I could have done for him”. “I go to Delhi once in a while to meet him, otherwise Meraz is not in touch with any of his brothers or friends here.”
Niazuddin said he wrote to the GIT authorities twice — on April 3 and April 24 — and went to meet the registrar and the director of the institute, but they were unwilling to have his son back.
Sources said the Delhi Police Special Cell too had requested GIT to take Meraz back. They had summoned the college registrar, Surendra Kumar Pokharna, with Meraz’s records and certificates and, after examining his credentials, conduct and record of attendance, reportedly asked the registrar to re-admit him.
“As a part of our investigation, we examined the records and told the registrar that as Meraz had no connection with the case, he should be allowed to write the exam and complete his degree. We told him that Meraz was interrogated and let off only after we were satisfied of his innocence,” a Delhi Police officer said.
Rajasthan DGP Omendra Bhardwaj, however, said the state police could yet question Meraz. “We have neither given him a clean chit nor are we saying he could be guilty. We have not interrogated him yet but at some point in the future might need to talk to him,” he told continued…