- By: Anil Anand
New Delhi: In a show of strength, journalist fraternity and friends of freelance journalist Syed Muhammad Kazmi who was arrested by Delhi Police in connection with bombing of an Israeli diplomat’s car recently, got together here and rallied behind him alleging that the scribe was being mentally tortured in custody.
The occasion was the press conference organized by Delhi Union of Journalists at the Press Club of India here on Friday where large number of journalists and Kazmi’s friends and family members gathered to raise their voice.
Kazmi’s two sons, who were also present, demanded that fair and transparent investigations be conducted in the case while stating that their father was innocent.
“My father is innocent. He has not done any illegal activity. He is a national hero as he covered the Iraq war for the country. The police is mentally torturing my father,” Kazmi’s son Shauzab said. He was flanked by his father’s friends and long-time professional associates.
Shauzab alleged that the Special Cell of Delhi Police is now calling up their relatives for investigation and that he and his father were ‘forced’ to sign on ‘arrest memos’ by the police on the day of his arrest.
Delhi Police had arrested him after February 13 bombing took place in Delhi while claiming that it was a case of ‘international terrorism’.
They had arrested Kazmi on March 7 alleging that he helped the bomber conduct reconnaissance of the Israeli Embassy.
Delhi Journalist Union General Secretary S K Pande said that Kazmi has been working with the Iranian news agency for a long time. He hardly showed any signs of jingoism, had impeccable credentials with reputation of an upright objective journalist with definite views, Pande added.
Pande said the Union has written to the Delhi police Commissioner seeking his releaseon bail as he is cooperating with investigators and that a charge sheet should immediately be filed in the case.
Veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi, a long-time friend of Kazmi, said the arrested journalist was his very honoured and honest friend and that his professional association with Iran and West Asia should not be held against him. “Kazmi had the advantage of knowing a number of languages including those spoken in West Asia. He had just been to Syria with a delegation this should not be held against him,” Naqvi said.
Shauzab, who has just finished his MBA, was accompanied by his younger brother as he defended his father. “No Iranian has ever stayed at our home even the scooty which the police has taken has been lying unused at our house for two years. My uncle from Meerut used it earlier when he used to go to AIIMS for his treatment,” he said.