Budgam: Three families from central Kashmir’s Budgam on Monday refuted the claims made by Delhi Police that the three persons from Kashmir arrested by them have any links with militant outfits.
Earlier on Monday, Special Cell of Delhi Police claimed to have arrested five persons — three from Kashmir and two from Punjab — after an ‘encounter’ in East Delhi’s Shakarpur area.
The three Kashmiris were identified as Riyaz Ahmad Rather, Shabir Ahmad Gojri and Muhammad Ayub Pathan.
While Riyaz and Shabir hail from Nasrullah Pora village of Budgam, Ayub belongs to Gondhipora village of the same district.
The two from Punjab were identified as Gurjeet Singh and Sukhdeep Singh.
Officials said it is suspected that some of them might have links to militant groups.
However, the family members of all the three arrested talked are vouching for their innocence.
Shaista, wife of Shabir Ahmed Gojri, said her husband was on a visit to the famous shrine of Ajmer Sharif as has been his routine for the past many years, and Riyaz (another arrested, who hails from the same village) had accompanied him this year.
“My husband had to pay obeisance at Ajmer Sharif while Riyaz being a welding worker had to get some stuff from Delhi,” she said, adding that on Sunday late evening, her husband informed that he was alright.
“My husband is a tipper driver with a clean police record. We were shocked over the claim made by Delhi Police,” she told KNT, adding that Shabir is the sole bread-winner of the family comprising old parents and two young sisters.
Muhammad Shafi Rather, father of Riyaz Ahmad Rather, also vouched for the innocence of his son, saying he had gone to Delhi for the first time in life.
“My son is unmarried who had gone to Delhi to purchase some welding stuff,” he said and sought the intervention of Jammu and Kashmir Police to get his son released.
“My son has a clear police record and has never been arrested for anything wrong,” the senior Rather said.
Muhammad Ayub Pathan, a resident of Gondhipora Budgam and one among the three arrested by Delhi Police, had gone to Delhi to purchase some construction material.
“We are constructing a house and Pathan had left for Delhi two days ago to get some material,” his family members said.
Pathan is a father to five children — 3 daughters and 2 sons. One of his sons is in police custody for his alleged involvement in Lawaypora militant attack in February this year.
Two militants Zia-ur-Rehman of Arth Budgam and Khateeb of Waghama Bijbehara were killed in Lawaypora shootout on February 5 this year. A trooper Ramesh Ranjan was also killed in this shootout.
“Few persons are still in detention in connection with Lawaypora Srinagar attack among whom is the son of Muhammad Ayoub Pathan as well but we vouch for the innocence of both father and son,” the family members told KNT.