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Where is Fasih Mehmood?

May 29, 2012 11:24 IST

An engineer by profession, Fasih Mehmood is under probe by investigation agencies for his suspected role in the Chinnaswamy stadium blasts at Bengaluru in April 2010.

Reportedly a key member of the Indian Mujahideen based out of Jubail in Saudi Arabia, Fasih has triggered a manhunt.

A fortnight ago, it was reported that Fasih had been brought down to India in an undercover operation carried out by the Indian agencies. His family members too confirmed this.

He was said to have been brought down to New Delhi first and then questioned later by the Bengaluru police for his role in the stadium blasts.

However, today none of the Indian agencies are confirming this; they say that Fasih is still at Jubail.

There is information regarding his involvement in the Bengaluru blasts, but we are still working out the formalities for his deportation officially, Intelligence Bureau sources say.

The IB says that a red corner alert will be issued in a couple of days and that only after this process was completed could he be deported to India with the help of the Saudi authorities.

Fasih is said to have been arrested first by the Saudi police and then taken away by the Indian agencies. His name is said to have cropped up during the interrogation of Kafeel Akhtar who is in the custody of the Bengaluru Police for his alleged role in the stadium blasts.

The Bengaluru Police is, however, tight lipped regarding the exact conversation they had with Akhtar, but sources say that the name of Fasih came into the picture when they found his name and number stored in Akhtar's cell phone.

The preliminary investigations regarding Mehmood go on to show that he was part of this network and could have contributed in a small way towards the stadium blasts.

The police are also probing his role for any financial transactions that could have possibly been made from the Gulf. Further, the other point of suspicion arose when they realised that he had done his education in Bhatkal, a town in Karnataka which had once upon a time housed the Bhatkals -- Yasin, Riyaz and Iqbal.

New Delhi-based Jamia Teachers' Solidarity Association, which has been helping the family members in their fight to find Fasih, says that it has been over two weeks that he disappeared from his residence in Jubail.

On May 13, he was taken away by a group of Indian and Arab men, all in civil dress, and their house searched, while his wife, Nikhat Perveen was held in a room by an Arab woman.

While his wife and family have received no official communication from the Indian government, speculation has been rife in the media that Fasih has been arrested -- a wholly wrong usage, as it can only be termed illegal detention -- for being financier to the alleged terror plots of the shadowy organisation, Indian Mujahideen, the association said in a statement.

The journey for his family has been a hard one.

Fasih's wife, who too was deported to India on the day he was taken away by the Indian police, is currently in New Delhi, running from pillar to post to know her husband's whereabouts.

Fasih's family members say that the government has a responsibility to inform them about his whereabouts.

While pleas of Nikhat seeking the details of her husband's whereabouts are falling on deaf ears, unnamed 'sources' are zealously leaking allegations against Mahmood to the media.

So far, the ministry of home affairs, ministry of external affairs and the National Human Rights Commission have feigned ignorance.

The home secretary has refused to give any assurance to Nikhat that her husband would be produced; in fact, he claimed to have no information on him.

Vicky Nanjappa