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'Metro ‘terror suspect’ is a labourer seeking alms'

The so-called terror suspect who tried to enter the Majestic metro station on May 6 is actually a poor labourer from Rajasthan who came to Bengaluru to collect Zakat, or alms, from mosques during the ongoing month of Ramzan, police said. 

Sajid Khan, from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan, had arrived with his family and checked into a lodge in Cottonpet. 

Being new to Bengaluru, he wanted to ride the metro. But as he went through the security check, the metal detector beeped continuously and the security staff stopped him. He was wearing Taveez (amulet) on the wrist and the neck, resulting in the beeping. The presence of coins in his pocket only intensified the alarm. 

Khan got scared and left the metro station. He took an auto to go back to the lodge. Meanwhile, the metro officials leaked the footage to Kannada news channels, which aired it and branded him a “terror suspect” without verifying with the police. 

Neither Khan nor any member of his family watch television and had no idea what the Kannada channels were up to. 

The jurisdictional Upparpet police decided to track down the man in the footage. They stumbled upon an auto-rickshaw driver who told them that he had seen the man. He took them to the lodge. Police picked up Khan on Saturday. 

When Khan told them what happened that day, the police cross-checked with his relatives in Rajasthan and concluded he was indeed innocent. 

In a role reversal, Khan filed a complaint against all those responsible for branding him a “terror suspect”. “We have taken up the complaint and are seeking legal opinion to register an FIR,” DCP (West), Ravi D Channannavar, said. 

Besides the news channels, police will book metro officials who leaked the CCTV footage to the media. “A channel even claimed Khan’s Taveez was a bomb detonator,” another officer said. 

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