This MBA youth from Azamgarh fearing returning to Delhi

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,

New Delhi: Mohd. Talib wants to come back to Delhi but fear still looms large in his face and that of his family members who don’t want him go out of Sarai Meer, leave alone Azamgarh.

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Armed with degree in business administration from a reputed business institute NIET in Noida, the twin city of New Delhi, Talib had just begun searching for good job when the Batla House encounter took place and his dream shattered. Not only his but that of many of his friends and co-villagers who were either studying in Delhi or had completed their education. They have since been pulled back by their parents and around two months on most of them are still confined to their homes in Azamgarh.

“I want to go back to Delhi but my family doesn’t. They are frightened and have lost faith in politicians and social workers because despite so much hue and cry (over the encounter and follow-up) boys from the district have continued to be picked up (some are missing),” Talib said to Since the encounter and he came back to Azamgarh, a number of media persons have visited Sarai Meer but neither he nor any other student talked to any of them. Students were not willing to appear before the media.

In the September 19 shootout at Batla House in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area two youths from Azamgarh district, suspected to be terrorists, were killed. The slain terror suspect Atif was from Talib’s village Sarai Meer and Sajid, another slain suspected terrorist, from his neighbouring village Sanjarpur.

Following the encounter several people were picked up by the police from Jamia Nagar. All of them including two students from Jamia Millia Islamia were from Azamgarh. Many others were picked in this eastern Uttar Pradesh district also. The incident sent shock waves down the veins of Muslims in the district and what they did immediately was call back their children studying out of Azamgarh.

“Many of my friends and fellow villagers who were pursuing BA, MBA, Diploma or other courses have come back. They are so frightened that they do not want to go back. Parents are also not allowing them to go,” said Talib who did Almiyat and Fazilat from renowned Islamic seminary Madrasatul Islah in his village Sarai Meer before doing graduation from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Talib’s father Mohd. Arif is not willing to send back his children to Delhi. Ten children of his family were there. “They were kept there for quality and standard education but all have been called back. We are forced to keep them here in this village, whatever education they can get here, they will, I cannot risk their stay outside,” said Arif who works in Dubai.

Mohd. Talib in the middle with relatives on either side

“People are feared because no one knows who will be picked from where and when. If we are at home at least our family will know who are picking us” he says adding many people are still missing, no one knows where they are, if they are alive or dead or have been killed in Gujarat or Rajasthan.

“My son Talib who has completed MBA was searching for job in Delhi but I have called him back. I know he will not get good job here in Azamgarh, yet I don’t want him go there” Arif says.

Atique Ahmad, Talib’s uncle sitting beside him, says he does not want to let his children of his family to go out as he fears they will be picked and killed or implicated in false cases. “Family will remain helpless, they can’t do anything except mourning,” he says.

Parents of the students studying out of Azamgarh particularly in Delhi are frightened as those killed in the encounter were students and those arrested after that were also students, so parents are fearing their children may be next target, he says adding that 50-60 students from Sarai Meer and Sanjarpur who were studying in Delhi have been withdrawn and now are at home.

What added to their woes was attitude of house owners in Jamia Nagar. For fear after the encounter many asked their tenants from Azamgarh to vacate.

“The owner of the building in front of my flat asked his tenants, all were Azmis, to vacate soon after the Batla House incident. Some house owners even offered to give back advanced rent to the tenants” says Talib who was living in Abul Fazl Enclave area in Jamia Nagar. As the owner of his flat was his relative he was not asked to leave, yet his parents called him back.

The attitude of the local police, ATS and STF sleuths in Azamgarh also frightened the people there.

“The ATS people come in the afternoon and stay at local police station waiting for the dark. At night they enter the village for enquiry, they are in civil dress and in van without number plate” said a villager. But now people have gathered courage and are not allowing them entre their houses at night. They ask them to come in the daytime for any enquiry, he adds.

Feeling a little relief in the situation, Talib now wants to come back to Delhi.
“How far will I stay here frightened? People should go out. We are innocents. Real culprits are now being exposed. We have been targeted so that we remain backward educationally. As for ATS they can pick up anyone from anywhere,” says Talib.