Alaula (East Champaran) Oct. 31: Mustaquim Ansari did not expect his youngest son to be picked up by police in the middle of an early-winter night, especially when he had served the Indian Army all throughout his life.
For the 65-year-old former tailor with the army, it was nightmare; for his neighbours, it was a surprise as Mustaquim’s son, Tabish Neyaz alias Arshad Ansari, was to get a government job in the near future.
“Youngest among my four sons, Tabish was a bright student throughout his career and he is completely innocent,” said Mustaquim, who had been staying at Alaula village in East Champaran district, around 130km northwest of Patna, for years.
In 1969, Mustaquim got a tailor’s job in the army in 1969 and before settling at cantonment in Ranchi, he had been to Nagaland at the time of Indo-Pak war in 1971. Till 2008, he served the army in Ranchi and he shifted to his native village after a paralytic attack in 2011.
The hapless father said: “Tabish had a very limited friend circle both at Tati Silwai High School and Doranda College (both in Ranchi). We were shocked at the turn of events on Tuesday night when Tabish was suddenly picked up. He was brought up with my hard-eared money of the army and my son can never be anti-national.”
According to his family members and neighbours, Tabish was staying in the village for about seven-eight months for the preparation of Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET).
“Tabish met me just three days before he was arrested,” said Prakhand Shiksha Samiti chairperson Bipin Singh.
“In fact, he wanted to know regarding his appointment as a teacher,” Singh added.
Singh said he had always found Tabish, the son of a “poor but honest father”, as good mannered. “His activity never raised any suspicion,” he added.
A village of around 1,000 and families, Alaula was looking dejected and gloomy even 48 hours after Tabish’s arrest. Ainul Haque, 75, said: “We could never imagine such a young boy would be arrested like this.”
Tabish was made accused in the serial blasts case on the ground of a phone call what he received from Haider, one of the named accused in this case. Haider was said to be his classmate while he was studying at Doranda.
Mustaquim sounded hopeful though: “At this juncture, my son’s career appears to be doomed but I have full faith in God as well as in justice. I am confident that he would definitely be absolved during trial.”