Hyderabad: Three women and a child belonging to Kerela were send to jail by the Uttar Pradesh police on 27 September for allegedly using fake COVID-19 RT-PCR certificates.
The imprisoned women and child reportedly belong to the families of two Popular Front of India members, Anshad Badruddin and Firoz Khan, who are languishing in Lucknow jail since February under draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in connection with Hathras conspiracy case and other cases with grave offences.
Maktoob media reported that the two Muslim men have been accused of planning multiple blasts, an allegation which and PFI and family members say is false.
Anshad Badruddin’s wide Muhsina, his mother Naseema, his seven year old son Athif and Firoz Khan’s mother Haleema, have been reportedly sent to jail.
According to KC Naseer, a Kerala based lawyer who accompanied the families, there has been no communication with with imprisoned women since they were picked up on Monday.
Naseer told Maktoob “They were traumatized. We have not heard from them after that.”
The family back in Kerala ads worried about the health of two elderly incarcerated ar away from their home state. Athif was sent to jail with his mother, as no immediate family was available. The prisoners can reportedly only speak Malayalam and one of the elderly is diabetic.
The wife and four children of Firoz Khan have reportedly fled back to Kerala on Wednesday, fearing further police intimidation. Another close relative told Maktoob, that she was deeply shocked by the episode.
On Wednesday, PFI came out with a press release strongly condemning the arrest of family members in a false case due to political vendetta.
Sequence of events
The family members reportedly arrived in Lucknow on September 23 in anticipation of seeing their jailed kin at the court hearing. However, their plan was foiled as the accused were produced before the court through video conferencing.
“We agreed to stay and visit them at the jail as we have come so far,” stated Naseer.
Subsequently, they arrived at the jail with supporting documents on Sunday, including RT-PCR certificates, mandatory for jail visits due to the pandemic.
They were then told to wait longer due to extra work for high-security prisoners. Amidst taht, Naseer said that the police offered to set up the meeting in some other place, however, the family declined doubting something fishy.
Afterwards, the police took them outside ans asked everyone to get into a police vehicle. Naseer and a local advocate assisting him questioned the police, who then got aggravated.
The police reportedly intimidated the group, including five children, to oblige their instructions. “Some bystanders, including lawyers, intervened and stopped the police from taking us with them. We left the jail complex immediately,” Maktoob media quoted Naseer.
The police, however, were at the door of the family’s hotel rooms within an hour. Naseer further narrated that they had not revealed any details other than their contact number to the jail authorities.
“The children were scared by the rogue nature of police. I started filming the police action, which I was forced to stop,” Naseer added.
Naseer said that the police asked the hotel to stop the CCTV recording. They family was taken to a police station and told that three test certificates were “fake.” Naseer said that he told them that all of them took the test from the same lab. “How can only a few of them be genuine and others fake,” be remarked.
The police reportedly at 10 pm, released Firoz Khan’s family except his mother, who was detained along with Anshad’s family. The women were sent to jail on Monday.
Political Arrests ?!
Anshad Badruddin and Firoz Khan had been reportedly travelling through villages of Bihar and West Bengal to ‘strengthen the organisation.’ They were arrested on their return journey by UP police. Firoz’s wife said “Firoz had no criminal record. He was here to serve other people.”
The duo was also named in Hathras conspiracy case, connecting it with the PFI link.