Motive For Association

Born and brought up in a cosmopolitan area of cosmopolitan Bombay, Roshan Jamal Khan did his graduation from the prestigious St. Xavier’s College of Bombay. The area where Roshan grew up has Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Parsis in equal numbers. As such, Roshan never faced any sort of discrimination in his life.

Even during the worst ever riot of independent India in the aftermath of the destruction of Babri Mosque, when the rest of India was smoldering, this area remained peaceful. Life went on as usual thereafter, too.

Roshan was largely associated with the travel industry. He has worked for a travel agency in Mumbai and Kuwait. While working for the travel agency in Kuwait, he was given an appreciation letter by the American Embassy for his work. His younger brother has worked for the US consulate in Mumbai as a security officer.

Roshan has six children; all of whom were under 18 and still in school when he was arrested in January 2008. There is nothing that could seemingly influence him to associate with terror groups. Especially, considering his young children – 2 daughters & 4 sons – whose future no father would like to jeopardize by undertaking any illegal or criminal activity leave alone indulging in terror acts.

Roshan Jamal Khan has no criminal past. After his arrest in Spain, the top, two investigative agencies of the Government of India, viz. Central Bureau of Investigation & Anti-Terrorism Squad (Maharashtra), investigated his credentials right from his college days till his travel to Spain. When these agencies did not find anything incriminatory against him, the Government of India cleared his name (Indian Express).

The Spanish police couldn’t produce any evidence to implicate Roshan for associating with terror except for the word of an unknown, protected witness – may be imaginary. No substance was found on his person or at his residence. He wasn’t under any surveillance. His movements were not suspicious nor were they tracked before he was arrested. He was in Spain to explore trade in olives.

Staying in a 5-star hotel where terrorists are holed up cannot be held as a reason for accusing other guests of the hotel for associating with terror. Similarly, praying in a mosque, or attending a congregation in a church, along side a person of dubious dealings cannot be a rationale for associating any person with terror.

It should be noted that no crime was committed. It was only on the basis of a fantasy of a wannabe James Bond that it was surmised that a terror attack was imminent on the Barcelona Metro. Thus, the police supposedly got into the act to foil it.

So, what did the Spanish authorities – the police, the prosecution and the judiciary – impute as motives for Roshan Jamal Khan to associate with terror and thereby sentence him to 8 and a half years?

Were the Spanish authorities subjected to an overdose of the film “Minority Report”?