THE INTELLIGENCE Bureau and Punjab Police’s intelligence unit picked up two students of a private college in connection with the fleeing of Jammu and Kashmir Constable Adil Bashir with seven AK-47s and a pistol from Srinagar. A raid was carried out late on Sunday evening at an apartment in Housefed Society on Zirakpur-Banur road. One of the students was released in Kharar late on Monday evening.
The two were identified as Ghazi Ahmed Malik, a resident of Shopian, and Mir Imran Ahmed of Pulwama. Ghazi is a second-year diploma student of civil engineering while Imran is in second year of B.Tech (civil engineering). Both are students of Aryans College. Imran was let off on Monday evening.
Imran Mohamed, a friend of the two students who was present in the apartment during the raid, told The Indian Express that as it was Sunday, a dozen Kashmiri students were in Apartment 2417 preparing dinner. Ghazi and Imran had gone to buy vegetables from a shop inside the apartment complex. Around 7:30 pm, there was a knock on the door and when they opened it, two men, including one armed with a gun, strode in.
“The man pointed the gun at the boy who opened the door. We were all scared out of our wits. They said they were police officers. We asked them to show their identity cards. They showed us red-coloured laminated identity cards that said Punjab Police,” said Imran. Over 100 Kashmiri students live as tenants in the housing society.
Rasik, another person in the flat, said the officers showed them the picture of Constable Adil Bashir. He added that the police officers asked them whether they knew the man in the picture. “They asked us one by one. Some of us saw the picture on social media and they told the police officers about it. Then one of the officers asked about Ghazi,” Rasik said.
The plainclothes officers took their mobile phones and also allegedly did not let anyone go to the washroom. Later, Rasik was given back his phone and asked to call Ghazi to the flat.
“I called Ghazi and Imran. The cops immediately caught hold of them and told us they were taking them as they were wanted in a case,” said Rasik. “Then the policemen started searching the flat,” he added. They searched mattresses, cupboards, suitcases, washrooms, kitchen and every corner of the apartment.
“The raid continued till midnight. When the police officials were leaving, they returned our phones,” said Rasik. After the police left, they called all the other Kashmiri students in the complex and everyone gathered around the apartment. There was a huge commotion in the complex because of the raid.
“We were very scared. In the morning, we informed our college authorities. We and the college authorities went to Banur Police Station on Monday morning and lodged a missing persons complaint, but Banur police said they did not know anything about the raid,” said Rasik.
Around 5:30 pm on Monday, Rasik got a call from Mir Imran Ahmed’s number and a person, who did not disclose his identity, told him to come to Kharar and take Imran from there. Rasik, along with three friends and college authorities, went to Kharar to take Imran. “They called and told me forget about Ghazi but come to Kharar to pick up Imran,” Rasik revealed.
Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mandeep Singh Sidhu said the raid was not conducted by Patiala police.
Aryan College Chairman Anshu Kataria said they were co-operating with the students and he also sent the college director with the students to the police station to lodge the complaint.
Sources said as Ghazi belonged to Constable Bashir’s village, the two could have some connection. Bashir, who was deputed as a Special Police Officer with People’s Democratic Party legislator Aijaz Ahmed Mir, fled with the weapons from Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar on September 29.