NIA quizzing Kishtwar youth, family asserts his innocence

October 8th, 2011 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Jammu, Oct 8 (IANS) A day after getting custody of Kishtwar youth Wasim Akram Malik, suspected to be the mastermind in the Sep 7 Delhi High Court blast, National Investigation Agency (NIA) Saturday questioned him through the day to establish his role. Malik’s family said he was innocent and they had “faith in the investigating agency”.

However, the NIA sleuths are yet to make a breakthrough in their interrogation of Malik, as it was the first day of his 14-day custody that the country’s premier terror probe agency obtained from a Delhi local court, sources said in New Delhi.

They are also trying to get him to help in reaching to his brother Junaid, suspected to be a Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant who planted the bomb outside the Delhi High Court.

The NIA also wants to figure out if Malik was a member of the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI).

Malik, a medical student in Bangladesh, was handed over to the NIA in the Delhi airport soon after he landed here from Bangladesh, according to his family.

He will now be in NIA custody till Oct 21 up to when the investigators get to question him, along with another accused and his fellow Kishtwar resident Amir Abbas Dev, who too was given to NIA for seven-day custody and interrogation by the Delhi local court Friday.

Meanwhile, Malik’s father asserted his son is innocent and he has “faith in the investigating agency”.

Riaz-ul-Hassan Malik, who reached Jammu from Delhi Saturday, told IANS over telephone: “My son is innocent.”

Narrating the events leading to the arrest of 23-year-old Malik, who is a final year MBBS student of Dhaka Medical College, he said: “Additional Superintendent of Police Ajit Singh of NIA came to me in Kishtwar Oct 2 and handed over a letter telling me that my son studying in Dhaka was required to be questioned in connection with Delhi blast.”

He said that the officer said that Akram should present himself in the NIA Delhi office Oct 4. “I immediately called up my son and made him speak to Ajit Singh,” said Malik.

He said when Akram said that he did not have the money to come, he transferred funds into his bank account and asked him to present himself for the investigation.

Malik and his wife also reached Delhi and went to the airport along with NIA officer Vishal Garg to receive Akram. “The NIA people were very nice and courteous. They took all three of us to their office and recorded our statements separately,” said Malik.

The NIA officers told the family that if investigations were not completed in 24 hours, then they would seek Akram’s remand. “They took 14 days’ remand on the next day and said they need to investigate further.”

Akram’s father works as private secretary to chief engineer (civil) of the National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation (NHPC) in Kishtwar. The family also has a house in Jammu.

“My wife was upset over all this and got hypertension so we have come back to Jammu today (Saturday),” he said.

Malik said that his son was studious and “focuses on his studies only. He is absolutely innocent and there is no question of his involvement in the blast”.

Akram had come to Jammu Aug 27 ahead of Eid Aug 31 and returned with a junior colleague Sep 9.

According to Malik, NIA officers have told them that they were questioning all students from Kishtwar who were studying in other parts of the country or abroad.

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