A Kashmiri woman arrested by Delhi police early March on suspicion of being associated with Islamic State and organising anti-CAA protests in Delhi has tested positive for Covid-19 during interrogation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Since then, around a dozen officers and personnel of the Central Agency have been tested, of which two have turned out to be positive. All have been quarantined.
The NIA had taken custody of Hina Bashir Beg (39) and her husband Jahanzaib Sami (36) on May 29 in connection with its probe into an IS terror conspiracy involving Hyderabad youth Abdullah Basith. Before taking custody, NIA had got both of them tested and they were found negative. However, during interrogation Beg developed symptoms and was tested again along with her husband and Basith. While the latter tested negative, Beg tested positive. She has. now been shifted to LNJP hospital, while the entire NIA team probing her has been quarantined.
“Two of our personnel in the control room have tested positive. The control room is right in front of the lock up. We are trying to find out how our men and Beg got infected. The probe team has been quarantined. All laid down procedures are being followed,” an NIA official said.
In view of the development, Beg’s lawyer has also moved for interim bail. “My client got infected in NIA custody. Cases are rising every day and media reports suggest there aren’t enough beds in hospitals. Jails are also witnessing cases. In such a situation, it is only prudent that my client is granted bail,” Khan told the Indian Express.
Beg and her husband Sami, who belong to Srinagar’s Shivpora area, were arrested from Delhi’s Jamia Nagar on March 9 and booked under the IPC sections for sedition and criminal conspiracy and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha had said Sami and Beg “have links with the Khorasan module of IS (ISKP)”. Police also accused Sami, who works with a private firm, of helping publish the February edition of IS magazine Sawt al Hind (Voice of India), adding “further evidence is being gathered”.
“They were propagating the banned terrorist outfit’s ideology of hatred against non-Muslims… They were also inciting Muslims to take up a violent struggle against the State, and against the CAA,” Kushwaha said. According to the family members, the couple married in October last year and soon moved to Delhi after the Srinagar-based IT firm Jahanzaib worked with temporarily shifted operations to the national capital due to the Internet shutdown in the Valley.
A relative of Sami had earlier told the Indian Express, “He (Jahanzaib) was never interested in any such topic. He wouldn’t even talk about Kashmir issue. He never took part in any protest here. If he was not interested in the Kashmir issue, then how come he suddenly got interested in the CAA issue? Police’s allegations are totally false and concocted.”
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