On holiday, Siddiqui’s family gets a shock

The family of journalist Matiur Rehman Siddiqui, who were holidaying in Bijapur, is in a state of shock after they were informed on Wednesday night about his detention. On Wednesday, after Police Commissioner Jyothiprakash Mirji announced that 11 people, including Matiur Rehman, had been arrested on charges of possessing arms and for possible terror links, the family found it “unbelievable”.

“What do I say to an accusation like this? And, who is going to believe what I have to say? But, people who know my brother would believe that he cannot do such a thing. How can a person like Muthi, who cannot raise his voice against others, pick up a pistol”, questioned Ata-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, the older brother of Matiur Rahman. The brothers have lost their parents. Ata-ur-Rehman, who is arriving in Bengaluru on Friday, said: “Let the police investigate if they have a doubt, but let them clarify on what charges he was picked up and where he is. Our biggest trouble till Thursday evening was that we had no idea what charges the police had pressed against my brother. We had no clue where Matiur was. Matiur neighbours were trying to check with the police to get some clarity on his detention and charges against him. Now that they have clarified on the arrest, they are talking about terror links.

“I really do not know how to react to this. We come from a family where going to the police station is a huge thing. I have been to a police station only once — for passport verification. I really do not know how to react. My brother, having been raised in a good environment and being a good human being, can never think of anything related to violence”. “We have been really worried and confused since last night. The entire family was in Bijapur for a holiday. I last spoke to my brother at 11 pm on Tuesday. I was trying to call him on Wednesday evening but his phone was switched off. I was a little worried as it is a bit unusual. I assumed he was busy with work till I received a call from my brother’s friend at 8:30 pm on Wednesday. He informed me that the Crime Branch picked up Matiur along with his other four roommates,” Ata-ur-Rehman said.

“We have also been trying to get in touch with Matiur’s employers so that they can communicate with the police on this case. I returned to Hubli on Thursday and will be leaving for Bengaluru on Thursday night,” Mr Siddiqui said.

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