'He borrowed SIM, saying he had to make a few calls... returned it after 20-25 days'
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Last Friday, 22-year-old Zeenat heard a knock on the door of her house in Chhoti Mewli, a village in Mewat district of Haryana. When she opened the door, she found a police inspector standing there. He asked for her husband Imam Shahid Mohammed. Shahid was preparing for namaz when police took him away, claiming he was a member of the terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba.
People waiting for Shahid at the local mosque asked police to let him complete his prayers. The men in plainclothes stood guard and took him away the moment the namaz got over. Zeenat says that was the last she saw of her husband.
The Delhi Police Special Cell also searched the house of another Imam in adjoining Gagas village but couldn't find him. They did take away his passport which showed he had visited Pakistan.
A third Imam, Mohammed Aarish, was taken away for questioning from Chhoti Mewli and freed on Monday afternoon. "I was taken to Delhi and questioned along with Imam Shahid for three-four days. I told police that on October 3, Shahid borrowed my phone SIM card. He told me his SIM card was not working, and he needed mine to make a few phone calls. But Shahid kept the SIM card for 20-25 days," Aarish told The Indian Express.
The police claim Shahid and the Imam of Gagas mosque made several calls to LeT financier Javed Baluchi, plotting a terror strike in Delhi.
"My only mistake was that I gave the SIM card to Shahid. I am innocent, that's why the police let me go," Aarish said.
Abdul Hai, uncle of the Imam of the Gagas mosque who is said to be on the run, maintains that his nephew is innocent. "Yes, he has been to Pakistan, so what? The police took awa Rs 15,000-20,000 from the house which they later returned. He will surrender to police when the time is right. They already have his passport," he said.