AZAMGARH POLICE on Monday arrested a suspected SIMI operative, a day after he was nabbed at Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi. He was then produced before a local court, which sent him to jail, said Circle Officer (Sadar) Mohammad Akmal Khan. Forty-two-year-old Mohammad Faiz — who ran a paan shop near his house in Azamgarh’s Khudadadpur village — was arrested in 2001 on charges of being an active member of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) after the Centre banned the outfit. He was released on bail around five months later. The case is pending in court.
In November last year, the Azamgarh Police had issued a lookout notice against Faiz after it discovered during a verification drive that he had travelled to Sharjah in July on a passport renewed while withholding information about the case against him. The agency had also sent reports to the External Affairs ministry and Lucknow’s Regional Passport Office, said Additional Superintendent of Police, Rural (Azamgarh), Narendra Pratap Singh. When Faiz was caught Sunday, he was about to leave for Sharjah again.
An inquiry has been ordered into the roles of the Local Intelligence Unit and police station concerned for issuing the accused a clearance report.
“Faiz has been booked under IPC sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (forgery), 466 (forgery of record of court or of public register, etc) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record),” said station officer of Nizamabad police station Yogendra Bahadur. Police have also invoked the Notary Act against him for hiding facts in his affidavit.
Bahadur said Faiz’s passport was prepared in 1998, after which he went to Malaysia for work and returned after a year.
“While staying in Malaysia, Faiz lost his passport. He returned to India with the help of the Indian Embassy,” the officer added.
“In November last year, after coming to know that Faiz had got a passport prepared without furnishing all details (related to the SIMI case), a police team had gone to his house but did not find him. On January 13 this year, Faiz returned to India but remained in hiding,” said Bahadur.
Azamgarh SSP Babloo Kumar said, “An inquiry has been ordered to find out who submitted the report into Faiz’s application to the passport office.”