Kashmiri man’s family questions his arrest in 17-year-old Red Fort attack case, stages protest

Kawa’s family said that he has been arrested on “frivolous” charges and agencies are trying to implicate him in a case in which he has no hand at all.

“He was only a teenager in 2000, when this incident had happened in which he has been implicated. What is making them arrest my son after 17 years of this incident,” said Kawa’s mother Fatima.

Family of Kashmiri man, Bilal Ahmad Kawa who has been arrested by Delhi Police and Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad on charges of involvement in the 2000 Red Fort attack case, staged a protest in Srinagar on Friday, questioning his arrest after 17 years of the incident.

Kawa’s family said that he has been arrested on “frivolous” charges and agencies are trying to implicate him in a case in which he has no hand at all.

“He was only a teenager in 2000, when this incident had happened in which he has been implicated.

What is making them arrest my son after 17 years of this incident,” said Kawa’s mother Fatima.

Kawa, who according to his family deals in pelts and even owns an accommodation on Chamelian Road, near Filmistan Cinema, Sadar Bazar, New Delhi is a frequent traveler to the place in relation with his business.

He was arrested from Delhi’s IGI airport on January 10.

“He was carrying only homemade collards and bread.

This is totally baseless that he had come to perform a major attack ahead on January 26.

I am unable to understand to how could he have carried any attack with eatables? Was he carrying any ammunition?” said Fatima.

His family said that Kawa on January 10 had gone to Delhi for a medical check-up.

“He had pain in his body. He was having high cholesterol.

So, we thought for better medication, why not to go to Delhi, as we had own house there,” said Fatima
Kawa lives in Aali Kadal area of downtown Srinagar and has two minor daughter-aged 10 and 6.

Kawa’s relatives also termed the reports by some media outlets as baseless in which it was mentioned that he(Kawa) used to camouflage his identity by frequently changing his attire and looks. “Are masterminds of attacks given Aadhaar cards?” said his relatives.
Kawa’s relatives said that they have met Jammu and Kashmir’s additional Director General of Police Muneer Ahmad Khan. “Khan saeb assured us all help,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, Kawa’s relative.
ADGP, Khan confirmed the meeting with Kawa’s family. “Yesterday, they had come to me. We have talked to Delhi police and our CID cell in Delhi. Through them we will find out what is the actuality in this case. I have handed them letter even. They were supposed to go to Delhi today,” Khan said.
On December 22, 2000, three Indian Army personnel were killed in indiscriminate firing at Red Fort. While at least 11 people — including alleged mastermind Mohammad Arif from Pakistan’s Abbottabad — have been convicted in the case, security agencies are now saying that Kawa was “absconding”.
“You can confirm from any neighbor was my son not present at his residence. How can a family man abscond?” said Fatima.

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