On August 18, Mohammad Yaseen, a resident of Delhi’s Turkman Gate, was arrested in a joint operation by police from Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, along with central agencies.
The 48-year-old was arrested from Old Delhi’s Meena Bazaar area. Police said that yaseen allegedly working as an agent in routing hawala money to terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Al Badr.
Maktoob visited Meena Bazar and met the family and neighbours of Yaseen. They had a different story.
Spl CP, Delhi Police HGS Dhaliwal said in a statement, “It was a joint operation of Special Cell and J&K Police. He (Mohd Yaseen) is a garment trader. J&K Police arrested one of his associates in Poonch & during probe, it was found that he was involved in terror funding activities for a long time.”
“He ran a wholesale garment business in Meena Bazaar and was the Delhi link to send this money to terror operatives in J&K through couriers. Further police team is investigating into the matter to find out other networks involved in this terror funding,” he added.
According to some media reports, “The officer said recently, Rs 24 lakh Hawala money was sent from South Africa to support terror activities in India. Out of this, Yaseen transferred Rs 17 lakh through two couriers to a terror operative named Abdul Hamid Mir in Jammu and Kashmir.”
The police arrested Mir from Jammu on Wednesday and recovered Rs 10 lakh cash from him. The remaining Rs 7 lakh were recovered from his house.
”On August 19 Special cell of Delhi Police also tweeted their official account that “Synergies Bust Terror Finance Network…J&K and Delhi Police Special Cell(NDR), acting in sync, unearth a trans-continental terror finance ring with arrests of Abdul Hamid Mir, r/o Poonch and Mohd. Yaseen, r/o Turkman Gate, Delhi. Huge amounts being funneled from South Africa/London to suspect terror fronts of LeT and Al-Badr in Kashmir seized.
According to residents, Yaseen is a highly religious and honest person. Other shopkeepers in Meena Bazar were shocked by the news.
“Aakhir ye hua kya! How does it happen?” They asked.
He is a very humble, religious and kind man.
Yaseen’s neighbour Md Wakil, who runs a shop in the same street in Meena bazar, said to Maktoob: “It was unbelievable that Yaseen would fund a terror outfit. He is a very kind person and had his work to work. Agr raat ko neend khul jaye to karvat badalta rehta hu ki aakhir ye kaise ho gya! If I get up at midnight, I think about it. You can ask anyone here about him.”
When maktoob reached his shop, a worker and his father-in-law were there.
“There was nothing. Zakat ka paisa tha, vahi diya tha. [There was Zakat money. But even that was given]. We don’t know who the man was,” said Yaseen’s father-in-law Siyajuddin Ahmed.
Everyone Maktoob spoke to maintain that Yaseen was a generous man who helped poor.
They said that his business has been here for generations.
Some reports also maintained that Yaseen was a prominent voice in the anti-CAA protests.
“We are highly disturbed and couldn’t sleep or eat for 4-5 days. His wife and 5 little kids are badly weeping. The eldest girl is only 12-years-old. I couldn’t see him sorrow. Even, You didn’t believe me, go to the market here and asked about him. Not a single person will give you bad feedback,” added Ahmed.
A worker, who works in yaseen garment shops, showed Maktoob the GST number, trying to convey that all his financial transactions were transparent.
“He also did his business with honesty. Here, No shop has GST no but Yaseen took it.”
According to the employee, regular customers were disheartened by the arrest and even wept.
Yaseen was also the incharge of collecting money for for the slaughtering on Eid. Collection is also in his hand.”
Ahmed is also upset by the media trial.
“I had thought, the media will provide fair information or coverage but they say lies. We will not believe in the media now.”
“We are doing our proceeding of the case and believe in the system that they will do justice with him. Allah par yaqeen hai, begunah hai, chutega. We believe on Allah that he is innocent and will be free.” he said.
Muhammad Tahir is an Independent Journalist Based in Delhi. He tweets at @tahirjournalis3