“Mere ku pichale das saal se pareshaan kar diye police wale...Pehle false case mein book karte, kuch wardaat hua toh, police pareshaan karte. Islam mein masoom logon ki jaan lena gunah hai.”
This is what Abdul Rauf, who the Special Cell of Delhi police claimed is a close associate of the alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Sayed Maqbool, has to say.
Maqbool, around whom the investigation into the twin bomb blasts of Hyderabad is revolving, is currently lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi. Rauf, however, denied any links with Maqbool and said that he only met him once when he was booked in a false case. The Delhi police had claimed that Maqbool is also close to Abdul Rauf, a resident of Saidabad and a leader of the Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (MIM). They further said that Maqbool was appointed as the Dharmabad president of the MIM by Rauf.
Rauf was arrested earlier in connection with the assassination of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya. After spending over five years in Sabarmati jail in Gujarat, he was acquitted along with Saidabad-based Moulana Naseeruddin and others.
Now with his name doing rounds in connection with the twin Hyderabad blasts, Rauf spoke exclusively with Express and said that his name is unnecessarily being dragged into the issue.
“Firstly, I have no authority to appoint anyone as the district president of MIM as I do not have any post in MIM. I am just a party sympathiser and that is how I am associated with the party. I have no power to appoint anyone,” said Rauf. His claim was confirmed by MIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi who said his party had no relationship with Maqbool.
Rauf said that way back in 2000, he was implicated in a murder case of Manik Prabhu and arrested. “I had no link with that murder, yet I was arrested.
Later, I learnt that Maqbool was also made an accused in the same case and that was how I met him for the first time, that too briefly. However, a CID inquiry was ordered in that case and they found that I had no role in the murder. I was given a clean chit and my name was not mentioned in the chargesheet. But I had spent one year in jail before I got a clean chit. I could not pursue my studies and my family suffered humiliation,” he said.
Asked whether he was in touch with Maqbool later, Rauf said sometimes he would come across Maqbool in Saidabad where he was a frequent visitor. “Khali salaam karte they ek dusre ku, bus aur koi baat bhi nahin hoti thi,” he said adding that he was never in touch with him later on.
Interestingly, though Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma Saturday claimed that they had done all that was required after they interrogated Maqbool in Delhi in October last year, they did not question Rauf. Asked about this, Rauf said that nobody questioned him. “One police official did call me and I told him to better ask Maqbool, that was it. Nothing happend later and I was busy with my day to day activities, earning my livelihood.”
“Masoom logon ki jaan lena Islam mein gunah hai. I also condemn the twin blasts of Dilsukhnagar. Masoom logon ka khoon bahana galat baat hai. Yeh insaniyaat ke khilaaf hai,” he said.
Asked whether the police contacted him after the twin bomb blasts, he replied in the negative. “Mai meri zindagi jeeroon and mere ko in blasts se ya Maqbool se koi lena dena nai hai.”
“The terror tag has ruined my family, especially my father, who passed away recently after suffering all humiliation. I am just trying to make both ends meet as I got married two years ago,” he said.
His father, Abdul Khader, had been working in the Animal Husbandry department. “On compassionate grounds, we were assured that the job would be given to my brother Abdul Aqeel. But when we checked up, all that we were told was that there was a confidential report from the police department which advised that job may not be given to Aqeel. I can understand that there are cases against me and therefore I cannot be given that job. But Aqeel has nothing against him, no FIR, never went to a police station. Then why is he being denied the job?” he asked.
He felt that the police should not harass him any further with regard to the twin blasts case. “Bahut saare bachey darey hue hai ki police waale aake unku utha letey.” Instead of asking him, the police should interrogate Maqbool to know whether they had any association, he said.
MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said he had clarified earlier and was doing it once again that his party had no links with Maqbool. “Rauf is our party’s sympathiser and he is leading a normal life,” he said.