Shri P. Chidambaram,
Hon’ble Minister,
Ministry of Home Affairs
Delhi.

Subject: Arrest of Naquee Ahmed and the competition between investigative agencies

Dear Shri P. Chidambaram,

We are writing to you in response to a series of recent events which has led to the arrest of a youth, Naquee Ahmad by the Maharashtra ATS on 10th January 2012. Naquee Ahmad was enlisted by the Special Cell, Delhi Police to help them solve a terror case and tracking down two suspects from Mumbai. Two officers of the Special Cell, Mr. Lalit Mohan Negi and Mr. Hriday Bhushan, were in touch with him. Their phone records will easily attest to this. In connection with their investigation,

Naquee was often summoned to the Special Cell office in Lodhi Road between 9th December 2011 and 7th January 2012. He was even taken to Mumbai on two occasions. The first Mumbai visit was on 10th December 2011 by the 10:30 am Go Air Flight, to identify the locality in which the two suspects had rented a flat. It was on the second visit, on 8th-9th January 2012, when the Special Cell asked him to accompany them in order to identify the two suspects, that Naquee was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS. Not only this, his elder brother, who live in Mumbai, were also taken into illegal custody.

Yesterday (18.01.2012), a team of ATS—headed by ACP Kamat—arrived from Mumbai in Delhi to subject Naquee’s brother to questioning. We were witness to that questioning and it was obvious that the ATS was shooting in the dark. They constantly asked what his brother had revealed to the Special Cell. When we asked the ATS officers why they could not directly seek the information from the Special Cell instead of terrifying the innocent boy by their interrogation, they replied that this was not done.

The issue that we draw your attention to is the fact that competition between different investigative agencies has created a ‘free for all’ wherein young men, belonging to a particular community can be picked up at will—secretly it seems, even from fraternal agencies. The lust for promotions, awards and media headlines has let loose a cynical ruthlessness that is becoming difficult to contain. And in these cut-throat organizational rivalries it is the innocent Muslim youth who are being sacrificed.
The matter is simple: here was a young man willing to offer his best cooperation in an effort to help the police in their anti-terror operations, but is himself claimed by the one-upmanship among various investigative agencies. Is this how the ‘war on terror’ will be fought? By victimization, harassment of Muslims and violation of the due processes of law?

We seek your urgent intervention to put an immediate stop to this sort of terrorization of Muslim youth and their families. The process of investigation and questioning must be transparent and the due process must be strictly adhered to. All those arrested be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours and illegal detentions and interrogations in such detention must be strictly punished.

Sd/-
Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD)
Manisha Sethi and Ahmed Sohaib (Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association)

The Commissioner of Police
Delhi.

Subject: Arrest of Naquee Ahmed by Maharashtra ATS

Dear Shri B.K Gupta,

You may be aware that a young boy called Naquee Ahmed has been taken into custody by the Maharashtra ATS on 10thJanuary 2012. You may also be aware that Naquee was helping the Special Cell of the Delhi Police in tracking down two terror suspects in Mumbai over the past one month. The two officers who were in close contact with Naquee were Mr. Lalit Mohan Negi and Mr. Hriday Bhushan. Their phone records will easily attest to this. In connection with their investigation, Naquee was often summoned to the Special Cell office in Lodhi Road between 9th December 2011 and 7th January 2012. He was even taken to Mumbai on two occasions. The first Mumbai visit was on 10th December 2011 by the 10:30 am Go Air Flight, to identify the locality in which the two suspects had rented a flat. It was on the second visit, on 8th-9th January 2012, when the Special Cell asked him to accompany them in order to identify the two suspects, that Naquee was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS. Not only this, his elder brothers were also taken into illegal custody.
What we find intriguing, and indeed shocking, is the callous indifference the Special Cell and Delhi Police have shown towards the plight of this young boy, whose cooperation was being deemed as crucial to the cracking of a terror case. Naquee would have been the key witness in a significant terror case—but it appears that his welfare and well being are marginal to the Delhi Police. When the family members of Naquee Ahmed approached the officers of the Special Cell who had been seeking his cooperation and help, they simply washed their hands off, feigning helplessness. Naquee was taken to Mumbai from Delhi by the Delhi Police—surely, it is the duty of the Delhi Police, and as its most senior officer, yours, Sir, to ensure his safe return to Delhi. We would like to ask why your department has abandoned him in this cynical manner. The Delhi Police cannot escape its responsibility and must ensure Naquee’s return to the capital.

Sd/-
Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD)
Manisha Sethi and Ahmed Sohaib (Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association)