The alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Faizan Ahmed Sultan, 60, deported from the UAE on Friday is cooperating with the interrogators of National Investigating Agency.
Sultan, who had been living in the UAE since 1994, originally hails from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, which is going for polls on May 10.
However, his defence counsel alleged that the arrest was 'politically motivated' and 'election gimmick.'
Sultan alias Faizan Azmi, who was brought back to India by the officials of Research and Analysis Wing and handed over to NIA, claimed that he was arrested after he landed in India. The investigating agency believes that Sultan was logistics man of IM in the UAE and he could be helpful in unraveling the larger conspiracy exposing the IM networks. Sultan owns two hotels, four embroidery shops and a laundry in UAE.
"He is cooperating with us and till next hearing I hope we can get good information regarding IM," a senior NIA official told dna. He, however refused to divulge any details of the two day interrogation. Sultan, was sent to NIA custody for six days on Saturday and he will be again produced in the court on Friday. Faizan, NIA alleges that Sultan provided logistical help to Indian Mujahideen operatives, who moved out of India after 2008.
The defense counsel of Sultan, advocate Mehmood Paracha, alleged that the investigating agencies, are being used by the political parties, especially during the election time.
"Sultan was detained in the UAE, three months back and brought to India deliberately during election time. NIA had no evidence against him. They just said that they want to unravel the larger conspiracy," advocate Mehmood Paracha told dna adding, "He belongs to Azamgarh, which is going for polls on May 10. The message of the arrest is directed to the people of that region."
The family of Sultan has pleaded his innocence and his son Fahad, 32, Paracha alleged was also detained illegally by NIA. However the investigating agency maintained that they only arrested Sultan and his son was just asked to complete some formalities. "We have arrested Faizan only and nobody else," said another NIA official. Fahad's father-in-law, Mumtaz-ur-Rehman, who is a lawyer in Azamgarh, also alleged that the family was targeted without any evidence against them. "Fahad was handed over to us today after almost three months. They could not find anything against him. His father is also innocent," Mumtaz told dna. According to Mumtaz, the father-son duo was detained in UAE on February 5, 2014. Mumtaz, met Sultan in presence of NIA officials on Sunday.
The country's different investigating agencies have managed to arrest at least 120 IM operatives since 2008. In last few months, the top leadership of IM including Yasin Bhatkal and Tehseen Akhtar were also arrested. The cooperation of UAE and Saudi Arabia with Indian intelligence agencies has resulted in the successful international operation against IM.