Kaleem, credited for changing Aseemanand

Hyderabad: At a small flat in Salim Nagar, Latifa Begum is preparing to welcome home her 21-year-old son.

"Please tell the world they are not terrorists. People used to say our sons are terrorists and wouldn't even give their houses on rent, they kept chasing us out", says Latifa, recounting the nightmare of having her son labelled a terrorist.

Abdul Kaleem has been granted bail after one and a half years at the Chanchalguda jail. He is the man who Swami Aseemanand has allegedly credited with changing his life and his mission. Arrested in November 2010, Aseemanand has confessed that it was not young Muslim men but right-wing groups that were behind the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad in May 2007 and also the Ajmer, Malegaon and Samjhauta blasts.  Aseemanand was brought here as investigators worked together to piece together his trail of terror. He says it was his introduction to Kaleem that provoked both reflection and regret.

"We used to sit together and talk. I told him that in the same case, for which you are here, I have spent one and a half years in jail and my education was disrupted and life spoilt. I told him all that", says Kaleem.

Kaleem was picked up less than a month after nine people were killed in blasts at the famed Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.

"I am very happy that because of my brother and because of Allah's grace, that man (Swami) has changed.We are very happy that Allah showed Aseemanand the path of humanity," says Kaleem's sister, Shenaz Parveen.

Kaleem was then arrested for allegedly trying to pass on a cellphone to his brother Khaja who was inside Chanchalguda jail and said to be an associate of Shahid Bilal, the South India operations commander of the banned militant group HuJI.

Close to a hundred young Muslim men were picked up in connection with the blasts in Hyderabad- the case slapped against 32 of them was of conspiracy against the state.  

20 of them have already been acquitted but the case against them has still not been closed - so the fear of being rearrested is prevalent.

"After what we have been through, whatever the government does for us is less. We want the government to give us a clean chit. Case 198 should be closed and there is the question of compensation," says 28-year-old Rayees.

Kaleem's family hopes he will soon be able to return to college to get a law degree. There are plenty of people, they say, who will need his help after he qualifies as a lawyer.
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