Relieved parents await Sabeel’s return from Britain

May 7th, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by admin  


Bangalore, May 7 (IANS) The elderly parents of Indian doctor Sabeel Ahmed, who was found guilty of withholding information on last year’s terror plot in Britain and was being deported Wednesday night, say they are relieved that he is returning home at last. “Every day has been a day of special prayers for us since his arrest (on June 30, 2007 in Liverpool). We have not planned anything special to receive him as only thing we have been waiting all these months is his safe return,” Sabeel’s mother Zakhia Ahmed, a retired doctor, told IANS Wednesday.

Sabeel, 28, is reaching Bangalore in the early hours of Thursday after a British court agreed to deport him following his confession that he had withheld information from British authorities about the plot by his brother Kafeel Ahmed to blow up Glasgow airport.

Kafeel, a mechanical engineer doing his PhD in Britain, drove an explosives-filled jeep into the airport building June 30 last year but it did not cause much damage to the airport. However, Kafeel suffered 90 percent burns and died a month later in a British hospital.

Hours before he drove the jeep into the airport, Kafeel sent an email to Sabeel about his mission. Sabeel was charged with concealing the information that could have prevented the terror attack. Sabeel pleaded guilty and since he had already been in jail for more than nine months, he was permitted to be sent home.

“We are not planning any special get-together or organising special prayers to mark his return. The fact that he is returning safe is the most joyous thing for us,” Zakhia said.

Sabeel’s father Maqbul Ahmed is also a doctor, but is not keeping good health. The youngster has a sister, Sadia Kauser, who is a medical student.

Sadia said: “We are waiting for him. There won’t be any pomp and show.”

“We do not know. We have not planned anything,” she said when asked whether she and her mother will be at the airport to receive Sabeel, who is being escorted back home by two British metropolitan police officials.

Since the Glasgow airport incident, the family has been living a secluded life, rarely interacting with neighbours and without visits from friends and relatives.

B.T. Venkatesh, a Bangalore lawyer who has been assisting the Ahmeds, said he did not see any legal impediment to Sabeel getting a job in India.

“He has faced only minor charges, of non-disclosure of certain information. If there was a trial, he would have been acquitted,” he told IANS.

“There are no charges against him. Though given the situation in India, it (getting a job) might be slightly difficult and may take some time,” Venkatesh said.

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