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Neighbours, friends of Imran shocked in Hampi

M. Ahiraj

`He was like an ordinary person engaged in business'


  • His assistant never suspected his boss of having terrorist links
  • He was prompt in paying rent: landlord



    TERROR TRACK: Imran Jalaluddin, the suspected terrorist, arrested in Bangalore on Friday.

    HAMPI: That a man suspected of having terrorist links was living and working amidst them for the last five years has come as a shock to many people here.

    Imran Jalal, who was arrested by the Bangalore police on Friday, was running the "Rising Sun Arts and Crafts", a handicrafts shop selling decorative stones, necklaces, and art pieces on the main bazaar, in front of Virupaksha Temple.

    His presence and activities did not create even an iota of suspicion among his neighbours, including the landlord.

    "He was prompt in paying rent," Shivappa, owner of the shop, said. Aslam Pasha, a resident of Gadag and Imran's assistant, said: "I have been working here for nearly three years and never suspected that my boss could have links with terrorists."

    "He was like an ordinary person engaged in business," says Parmesh, who runs a cyber café on the main street of Hampi.

    Hilal Ahmed, a Kashmiri youth who runs another handicrafts shop, said that Imran's relations with other Kashmiri youths were cordial. "His behaviour was normal and he mixed with friends," he says.

    Imran was among a group of 37 Kashmiri youths living in Hampi and running a handicrafts shops.

    He stayed at Ranipet in Hospet where he had rented the first floor of a house belonging to Sundar Rajan, father of Sheela, former president of the Hospet Municipal Council, in Ranipet.

    Even in Hospet, the neighbours were not suspicious about Imran until they saw the flash news on television.

    "He used to leave the house by 8.30 a.m. and return at 10 p.m. and kept to himself. His pregnant wife has gone for her delivery and his parents used to come and go," says Ms. Sheela.

    According to some residents in Ranipet, a few people came to Imran's house on December 28 at around 10 p.m. and took him away.

    When some residents sought to know who they were, they identified themselves as policemen.

    Sources in the Police Department in Bellary told The Hindu that they had information about Imran being taken away.

    P.G. Suddi, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Hospet, said the shop was searched and no arms or incriminating documents were found.

    According to the records maintained by the police, Imran Jalal, is a resident of Kolipora in Khayanar police station limits in Srinagar.

    He was instrumental in forming the Kashmiri-Rajasthani Handicrafts Shop Owners' Association and was its president for some time.

    The association is now defunct.

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