You have a long beard, no passport for you: Cop allegedly tells Najmul Huda

You have a long beard, no passport for you: Cop allegedly tells Najmul Huda

Mangaluru, Jan 23: A day after sleuths of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Najmul Huda in a predawn raid at Permude village in Mangaluru taluk, an eerie silence prevailed in the entire neighbourhood.

The engineering student’s helpless parents and three young sisters, who have already rubbished the allegations made against him by media, have no clue of the terrible rumours being spread on WhatsApp and other social media, as all of their mobile phones have been confiscated by the NIA.

Najmul Huda’s parents hail from Uttar Pradesh and they had settled in Mangaluru over 25 years ago. The family has no enemies in the locality and those who knew Najmul Huda closely including the neighbours openly praise his kindness and humbleness.

“We know Huda family since our childhood. We all respect them. Najmul Huda is very silent and calm. He cannot be a terror sympathiser because he knows that such activities are ‘haraam’ (prohibited). We don’t believe any of the allegations being made against him,” says Sameeullah, a resident of Permude village.

“We are sure that they cannot find any evidence against him because he is innocent. But, we are disheartened and extremely frightened by the unexpected development. This is the toughest time in our life,” say the three young sisters, whose only brother was one among the 14 men picked up by the national security agencies in simultaneous raids across four states of India.

The family members also revealed that a few days ago a cop in jurisdictional Bajpe police station had scolded and mocked Najmul Huda for keeping a long beard.

It is learnt that one of the cops had told the youth that he would not get a passport because he kept a long beard. Sources in Bajpe police station confirmed that Najmul Huda had applied for passport and the application had come to the station for verification. However, they claimed that he did not turn up for verification.

Najmul Huda holds a diploma in polymer technology from Karnataka Polytechnic, Mangaluru. He had joined RV College of Engineering in Bengaluru in 2011 to study chemical engineering, but did not complete the course due to attendance shortage. During studies, he stayed in a paying guest accommodation in Kengeri. Health problem was the only reason for his attendance shortage, according to his mother Mahira Khathoon.

But, Najmul Huda had decided to complete the course and get a good job, said his father Saiful Huda, a cleric at the local Usmaniya Mohammedi Masjid. The youth was temporarily working in a mobile store and used to spend time on internet. He was in touch with his NRI brother-in-law and had requested him to search a suitable job for him.

The media reports that portrayed Najmul Huda as a ‘terrorist’ have further disheartened the family members. “He is my son. He knows the fact that there is no place for terrorism and violence in Islam. How can he be an ISIS sympathiser? He was arrested only on the basis of suspicion,” said Saiful Huda, expressing hope that his son would be released soon.

The operation to arrest Huda began at 2:30 am on Friday with the police swooping down on his house. “We heard the loud knock in the midnight and when peeped through the window we saw a large number of policemen. The scene frightened us,” recalls the mother, who failed to understand why the armed men barged into the house, targeted his son and searched the entire house till 6 a.m.

Despite a three-and-a-half hour long search in the house, the NIA could not find anything except a laptop, five mobile phones (two of them are not working), a few old CDs and DVDs. The NIA also questioned him why he had saved the photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on lap top.

According to media reports, Najmul Huda was being tracked for the past six months as he was very active on social media and used to share various videos on Facebook.

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