SRINAGAR – The arrest of an alleged over ground worker of a militant group on Friday after a shootout in Pulwama township, has put police in a tight spot as the family as well as locals have contested police claims saying the arrested man was mentally challenged.
Tariq Ahmad was arrested by police this afternoon after a “shootout” in bus stand Pulwama that left two civilians, including a woman injured. Police blamed the militants for the firing.
“How can my son be a militant or their sympathizer. He is mentally unfit. Every person is well aware of this fact,” his father Ghulam Mohidin said.
He said he heard the shocking news of his son’s arrest, hours after he left from his home this morning.
“My son is being implicated in a false case. He is innocent,” the distraught father said.
Tariq’s mother Sarwa Akhter said that her son was working as a baker and helping the family to make both the ends meet. However, around four months earlier, she said, her son started behaving strangely.
“And as the days passed, he lost his mental balance. He would do weird things in and outside his house,” she said.
Endorsing the statement of Ghulam Mohidin, Numbardar of the village, Mohammad Yousf told GNS that the arrested youth was mentally retarded and would be seen doping around the village.
“He was not even remotely connected with militancy. He is a wanderer,” Yousuf said.
Another family member, insisting not to be named told GNS that a fortnight ago, Tariq stole a cow from the shed of his neighbour only to return it a day later.
Meanwhile, SP Pulwama, Tejinder Singh told GNS that the youth wearing burqa (veil) was with militants when arrested by police.
“He was aiming to snatch the weapon of police. However, he was arrested,” Singh said.