They forced me to sign on blank paper, says suspect Afzal's wife

Last Updated 22 January 2016, 20:22 IST

 Bushra Tabassum, whose husband Mohammed Afzal was among those arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) during nationwide raids in the early hours of Friday, said the raiding team forced her to sign on a blank sheet of paper.

Tabassum, who used to work from home as a recruiter for a private company, said that when she refused to sign on the paper, they wrote on the sheet that the house was not damaged during the search and asked her to sign it.

“When they forced me to sign on the sheet, I decided to sign right beneath those two lines. But they made me sign at the bottom of the page.”

Afzal, 35, a project manager at IHS, a multi-national company in Whitefield, was living with Tabassum and their four-year-old daughter in Saraipalya near Hegde Nagar off Nagawara junction in Bengaluru North. A diploma-holder, Afzal had worked with a couple of small companies. He took up a job in Saudi Arabia around eight years ago but returned after a few months when his father fell ill. He married Tabassum in 2009.

Addressing reporters at the Press Club on Friday, Tabassum said, “On Friday, around 3 am, we heard a knock on the door and Afzal went to check on it. He peeped through the window and saw a couple of men standing near the door. They pointed a gun at him and told him they were from the Delhi police and wanted to search the house.

Afzal opened the door and around 30 persons, including two women, barged in. They manhandled Afzal and handcuffed him. 

 “They asked him where he had kept the arms and explosives and with how many terrorist organisations he was involved. The entire house was ransacked during the search. They took away books in Urdu script, two laptops, three mobile phones, including mine, and a few documents,” claimed Tabassum.

When asked if Afzal had travelled abroad, the family said his passport had expired long ago.

‘No links with cleric’

When asked if Afzal had close links with City-based cleric Syed Anzarshah Qasmi, who was arrested by the Delhi police on charges of terror links, Tabassum said they had heard that her husband had gone to a mosque to listen to the cleric’s speech on a couple of occasions but had no close links with him.

(Published 22 January 2016, 20:22 IST)

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