Arif Ejaz Majeed, one of the four young men from Kalyan who were thought to have joined Sunni insurgents of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has reportedly been killed in the fighting in Iraq.
The news of Arif’s death was conveyed by Saheem Farooq Tanki, another of the four men, who called his family on Tuesday evening.
Arif, an engineering student, went missing along with Saheem and two others — Fahad Tanvir Sheikh and Aman Naim Tandel — in May. The four families went to the police some days after they disappeared.
The Indian Express reported the disappearances, and the fact that the four youths were believed to have joined Sunni jihadis in Iraq, in its edition of July 14.
An uncle of Saheem’s said Saheem had called the family over VoIP twice on Tuesday evening, crying incessantly. He said Saheem had not told them where he was.
“The first call came around 6.30 pm. Saheem called his brother Farzaan’s cellphone, the way he always does, as Farzaan is the only one in the family who has a cellphone. Saheem was crying when he called. He told Farzaan that Arif had died, and asked us to convey the news to his (Arif’s) family,” the uncle, Kashif Tanki, said.
“We repeatedly asked him what had happened and where Arif had died, but all Saheem could do was cry. I along with Farzaan then left for Arif’s residence to inform his family,” Tanki said.
Saheem’s second call, the uncle said, came around 11.40 pm.
“This time too, he was crying,” Tanki said. “He asked us whether we had informed Arif’s family, and we said that we had. We again tried to get some more details out of him, but failed. We asked him how he was, and all he said was that he was fine, and that he would come home soon.”
Saheem’s family informed the Bazarpeth Police about the phonecall soon afterward, Tanki said.
Friends of Arif Majeed’s family said Arif’s father, Dr Ejaz Badruddin Majeed, was shattered by the news. They said the family had accepted that Arif was no more, and had offered funeral prayers for him on Wednesday.
“Dr Majeed was inconsolable. The Ghaibaana Namaaz-e-Janaaza, which is a funeral prayer for occasions when the body is not available, was offered after the Zuhr (afternoon) namaaz by the family,” said a resident of the housing society in which the Majeed family lives.
The Majeeds’ neighbours and