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My son is innocent, says mother of techie held in France

May 25, 2011 17:23 IST

Fathima Begum, mother of terror accused Mohammad Niaz Abdul Rashid, arrested in France early this month, on Wednesday claimed her son was innocent and did not have links with any terrorist organisation, including the banned Students Islamic Movement of India in India.

Speaking to mediapersons, she said Niaz was not one who could become a terrorist. "I know this well as his mother. If police thinks he was a militant, they could have arrested him when he visited us in January," she said.

She said two immigration officials had earlier come to their house in Melur, checked his passport, found nothing wrong and had left. They did not produce identity cards when asked.

Fathima said Niaz had stayed with the family in Karimedu in Madurai until 2005. The family later moved to Melur, about 30 kms from Madurai.

"He was educated in a reputed school here and did a polytechnic course at Mohammed Sathak Insitute in Ramanathapuram district, before joing MIET and completing another course in Tiruchirappalli."

Niaz went to Saudi Arabia in 2005 with a passport issued from Tiruchirappalli passport office and came in contact with a girl through internet from there, his mother said. "We did not want him to marry a foreign girl though she was also a Muslim. But he married her against our will, after which we did not have much contact with him. But as time went by, things changed."

On his activities in foreign nations, she said, "I don't know who his friends are in France. I can't comment about his activities in France."

Police had on Tuesday said Niaz obtained two passports from Tamil Nadu -- one from Trichi region, but were not sure from where he obtained the other one -- apparently a fake.

They said he was a member of 'Jhunjhunwala' militant outfit based in Pakistan. Investigations were on to ascertain how he got in touch them.

Home minister P Chidambaram had on Monday said Niaz was arrested by French police along with six other suspected Islamic militants on May 10 and French authorities suspect that he was recruiting volunteers there for joining a Pakistan-based terrorist outfit.

Police said on Tuesday that Niaz had visited Melur three months ago and stayed there for about 14 days when intelligence officials had followed him.

Officials said they were verifying bank records here to ascertain if money had been transferred to anyone from Paris, where he had been living for long.
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