Syed Salim was at the Ajmer Dargah on October 11, 2007, like a lot of others offer his prayers on Ramazan, when a bomb ripped through the shrine. However, little did he know that he would be tagged as the bomber.
A hasty and irresponsible investigation by the Rajasthan police has scarred Salim’s family.
Two years after wrongly implicating him as the suicide bomber in the Ajmer dargah blast, the Rajasthan police finally accepted that Salim was not a terrorist but one of the victims.
The Hyderabad-resident was not alive to see his humiliation and relief, however his family has lived through it all — the pain and humiliation apart from the agony of his death.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the case, concluded that Salim was not the suicide bomber after it was confirmed that the blast had been carried out by Hindu groups.
Salim’s wife and two children refused to talk about the incident, however his close relatives told rediff.com that the police interrogated the family very often for two years to find links between Salim and the blasts. While his family lived in Hyderabad, Salim had been working in Ajmer for he wanted to be close to the dargah.
“The family found it difficult to come out in the public. It is difficult to step out when a member of their family was accused of being a suicide bomber,” a relative said on condition of anonymity.
On the fateful day, while removing the bodies from the spot, the police stumbled upon Salim’s body and found a Telugu newspaper on him, which led them to believe that he was from Hyderabad, said police sources.
The Rajasthan police even claimed that they had found IED in Salim’s pocket and that he belonged to the Hyderabad module that carried out the Mecca Masjid blasts too. They had stated Salim was part of the Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihadi, which conducted the blast to create communal tension.
Relatives and friends of Salim said he was a soft-spoken person and a pious Muslim, who could have never done such an act especially at a holy shrine that he visited so often.
“Salim went to Ajmer because he wanted to spend more time at the dargah as he had immense faith in the shrine. Why would such a man even think of carrying out a blast?” his friend Farooq asked.
He had always wanted to open a shop near the Ajmer dargah so that he could visit the shrine often, he added.