Mumbai: The family of Fahad Shaikh, one of the four youths from Kalyan, who allegedly went to Iraq with the intent of joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is in a dilemma over their son’s well being. His father Dr Tanvir Shaikh received an anonymous call on Tuesday from a person who claimed that their son died in Raqqa, Iraq while fighting for ISIS.
His father told The Asian Age that the family cannot believe the caller’s claims and that they haven't cited the verses of namaz-e-janazaa, which signifies family’s acceptance of the person’s death in the absence of their body. Dr Shaikh approached the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to inform them about the call. Shaikh’s mother has been keeping unwell since the family received the call. The Thane police have recorded the statements of the family members pertaining to the latest development on Wednesday.
Some relatives had even flocked Dr Shaikh’s residence in Kalyan west, adding to the family’s sombre mood and confusion on the piece of information they had received.
“Since the time we got the call, Fahad’s mother has not been keeping well and the family is stuck in the dilemma on whether to believe the news or not. The agency is yet to confirm anything pertaining to the claims
of the caller,” said Dr Shaikh.
When asked about the last time anyone in the family had spoken to Fahad, his father said that it was at least three years ago. However, persons close to the family have stated that the latest call from the fugitive was three months ago and that he would speak to his mother most of the time, as he was very attached to her.
The Thane police has refused to comment on the development stating that the anti-terror agencies are presiding the investigation pertaining to these disappearances.
“The family’s statements have been recorded and we will share the documents with the concerned agencies,” said a senior Thane police officer on the request of anonymity. When contacted, no officer of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was available for a comment.
Iftikar Khan, Fahad’s uncle, said, “We used to inform the NIA whenever Fahad would call his mother on her number and inform about himself. Sometime he would also message her. The calls were frequent but not regular.”
Fahad was part of the group of four youths from Kalyan who allegedly left for Iraq to join the ISIS. The other three include Areeb Majid, Shaheem Tanki and Aman Tandel. The group left in May 2014 under the pretext of going on pilgrimage to Bagdad. While Majid subsequently returned to India, Tanki and Tandel have died in Iraq.
INDIAN MINISTERS IN IRAQ
Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj along with the minister of state for external affairs V.K. Singh are in Iraq for the 39 missing Indians. The visit is focused on coordinating the efforts to track down the missing nationals, who are suspected to have been kidnapped by the terror outfit ISIS in June 2014. In the ongoing visit, the Indian contingent has also provided the Iraqi authorities with the DNA samples of the missing persons to help locate them in the backdrop of several mass graves being located by the authorities there.