EVEN AS brothers Vaseem and Naeem Ramodia were sent to a 12-day police remand by a local court, those close to the family say that the Ramodias are a respectable family and that they never knew about any trouble till the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested the duo.
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Vaseem (30) and Naeem (27) were arrested by the ATS on Sunday for allegedly planning Islamic State-inspired lone-wolf attacks in the state. The two are son of Arif Ramodia, a retired employee of Saurashtra University, Rajkot. Ramodia senior retired as English stenographer from general department of Saurashtra University on June 14, 2015. He is also a cricket umpire associated with Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA), Rajkot, for the last 20 years and has been officiating in district-level matches.
Those who know Arif say they regard the Ramodias as a respectable family. “Arif Ramodia never complained about any issues. He retired from Saurasthra University from a good post and the family was doing well financially also. His brothers are also businessmen. The entire family that I know of is a respectable one,” said a close friend of Arif, requesting anonymity.
Vaseem had met Jaydevsinh Jadeja, a Rajkot-based supplier of surgical equipment in June last year in response to an advertisement given by the businessman for hiring a salesman. Jadeja said on Monday that his impression of Vaseem was that of an educated man coming from a good family. “He told me his garment business in Bhavnagar did not take off, and therefore he was in search of a job. When I told him that he was a software engineer by training whereas I was looking for a salesman, he told me he never made it big in that field and that he was ready to work as salesman for salary of Rs10,000,” Jadeja told The Indian Express on Monday.
Jadeja, who is also president of Yuva Kshatriya Samaj, an organisation of Kshatriya community, further said that he knows Arif Ramodia also and that the father had requested him to give an opportunity to his son. “We organise cricket tournaments where we invite Ramodia bhai to officiate in matches. After his son met me, he rang me up and informed that Vaseem was his son and that there will be no harm if I hired him. In the meantime, a smart young man also appeared for the interview for that post. I preferred him over Vaseem,” Jadeja added.
The businessman further said Vaseem had inquired with him if him growing a beard could come in the way of his selection. “But I had clarified that it could not be a factor at all,” Jadeja added.