Why Jafrabad is usual suspect for sleuths


NEW DELHI: Jafrabad hid its anxieties under an appearance of calm on Thursday morning. Residents of this north-east Delhi locality comprising Chauhan Bangar and Babarpur actually expected more National Investigation Agency raids. Indeed, the anti-terrorist sleuths have reason to believe that for the past few years operatives of several terror groups have lived here.

The dingy lanes lined with jeans factories have been home to a migrant population from western UP and Bihar for decades now. The semi-urban pocket, located about 11km from the heart of the city, was created in the 1990s to settle people displaced in the city during the Emergency. The area with a majority Muslim populace is poorly developed, and the approach road to the locality is perennially choked with traffic.


In 2016, three alleged operatives of Jaish-e-Mohammad were nabbed in a NIA-Special Cell raid in the Chand Bagh area nearby. “It is unfortunate that Jafrabad’s name crops up every time there is a raid in the vicinity. We keep preaching to the people that they should keep away from antisocial activities, but it is difficult to keep an eye on everyone,” admitted Haji Mustaqeen, a cleric in a local mosque.

There are more than 10,000 small and medium units producing garments and small tools there. “Since the area borders Loni in UP, unscrupulous elements sneak in at times,” observed Abdul Hakim, a baker in the Chauhan Bangar neighbourhood. “If the youth are getting indoctrinated, it is certain that someone is tutoring them. It is the duty of every person to prevent such people from coming here.”

The greater worry for the residents is that the financially and educationally disadvantaged youngsters of the area are easy prey to such recruiters. “Even though there are government schools here, very few attend them because they are far apart and transportation is major problem. Actually, no one really bothers to send their children to schools,” claimed Gafoor.

Gafoor added, “Small-time industrial units keep popping up in the houses and add to the existing mess, making Jafrabad a favourite prowling ground for anti-India modules.”


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