The NIA team quietly left for Dhaka recently and has been quizzing some of the Kashmiri students studying in Jalalabad Ragib Rabeya Medical College and Hospital at Sylhet, near Dhaka, sources in the know said on Sunday.
The NIA team has so far questioned two students including a girl, both hailing from Kishtwar, about the conduct of Wasim Akram, who is at present in NIA custody for 14 days.
Both students have been let off after the NIA team, which was provided assistance by the Bangladesh authorities, found nothing to back their investigation, the sources said. As the NIA probe so far indicates that it was looking for a youth identified as Junaid Akram in connection with the September 7 blast, the agency was apparently unaware that his kidnapping report had been registered in a Kishtwar police station where the blame had been put on an alleged Hizbul Mujahideen conduit Azhar Ali.
In a related development, Wasim's arrest has been decried by his family members who said he was being made a scapegoat whereas he had no role to play in the blasts. Wasim was allegedly linked to Junaid, whom NIA claimed to have received training in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, a charge rebutted by his father-- Reyaz Malik-- who said that it was nothing but a bunch of lies being spread about his sons.
Narrating the incident, he said his son had gone missing last year in August after appearing in his matriculation exams and said that his date of birth was May 5, 1995.
He also narrated that it was surprising that while they had lodged an FIR about him going missing in the Kishtwar police station, his son was being labelled as terrorist. However, he said that it was an act of vengeance being orchestrated by Hizb conduit Azhar Ali, whose family had been their tenant in Kishtwar.
Malik said that he had asked Ali and his family members to leave his house after his activities were found to be suspicious. "I was the person who made his arrest possible for police and now my own children are being labelled as terrorists," he said.
Malik said that his elder son Wasim, who has been studying in Bangladesh since 2006, had come to his home after a gap of 17 months on August 31 this year.
After spending some days with the family, he had left for Dhaka but spent three days in Jammu with his friends and relatives. "On September 6, Wasim withdrew money from ATM, on September seven, he was challaned by Jammu Traffic Police for driving without helmet and on September eight, he again withdrew money for making some purchase as he had to leave for Dhaka on September nine," Malik said, adding, all this is available and NIA can verify it.
Moreover, the claims of NIA about involvement of Junaid in the blasts were being contested by local police and security agencies who said that there were no inputs about Junaid's links in any terror activities and at best he could be termed as a brainwashed student but that too had not been conclusively established.