At 10:30 a.m I was just putting my bag in my car to leave for office, I saw two persons in the compound enquired about the house of Geelani sb. I asked them which Geelani sb are you searching for, making out they could be from some courier agency? They replied that they are searching for a Kashmiri leader, who lives somewhere in the colony. I told them he lives in another block and tried to make them explain directions. One of them requested, if I can accompany them.
So I did. On the way, they told me they are from Delhi Special Cell. When we reached at JD18 E block of Khirki Ext. I saw a crowd of plain cloth men in the gulley. I just pointed out to first floor and told them their lives Geelani sb, you are searching for. As I started to withdraw, they grabbed me and said they need few minutes to talk to me. And virtually dragged me to first floor flat, taking away my purse, identity card, keys etc. They could not trace my phone till them, though they were insisting to hand over phone to them. Upon reaching the flat, I saw many more people inside. As they got busy with conversation to some other person, I managed to go to bathroom and sent SMS to my office and some friends. When I was back, they noticed the phone and took it away.
After 15 minutes, I saw my wife also arriving at this house, escorted by two male plain cloth police wala.. My children were alone at my house. I repeatedly told them, to explain reasons behind my detention. All the time, they were very rude, threatening and warning me of dire consequences. I also pleaded with them, even if they want to detain me, why at the house of Syed Ali Geelani and not at my own home or a police station. And why they had kept children away from us?
After five hours, I saw many voices from outside. One officer type person came and shouted that I am free and can leave this house. In the by-lane I saw my office people including bureau chief Saikat Dutta and some other friends including , Aurangzeb Naqashbadni of Hindustan Times. They had used every available contact in home ministry and Delhi police to make them see reason. When I reached my home, some 7-8 people were there in drawing room and living room and they had kept my children locked in bed room.
When we reached there, they started leaving one by one. Saying that my children were terrified would be an understatement. They recalled how these people in our absence banged the door and asked them to confine themselves in bed room.
I have no issue with what government wanted to do to maintain law and order in Delhi or elsewhere. Repeatedly in public domains, I have affirmed that I have nothing to do with the politics of my father-in-law Syed Ali Geelani.
I owe my living to journalism for over past two decades in Delhi. I feel totally distraught with the behaviour of security agencies particularly special cell of Delhi police. I feel so scared. I try my best to raise my children in an atmosphere of peace and compassion. I have no idea, what should I do to prove myself to be a peace loving and a law abiding citizen.
As Frederick Douglass says, the life of the nation is secure only when the nation is honest, truthful and virtuous. I may add, the subjugation, harassment, and trampling on rights only makes the nation week and insecure in the long run, though it may address to the rhetorical class and accrue short term gains.