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IIT student detained in Assam wanted to become engineer, lift family out of poverty: Relative

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New Delhi, Mar 30 (PTI) A relative of the IIT-Guwahati student detained in Assam for allegedly pledging allegiance to the IS said that the 22-year-old wanted to become an engineer to lift his family out of poverty.

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Touseef Ali Farouqui, a resident of Okhla in the national capital, was allegedly on his way to join the terror group when he was nabbed in the Hajo area near Guwahati on March 23.

The accused was arrested the next day under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

According to the relative, who did not wish to be named, Farouqui's mother and sister live with his uncle in a small house in one of the narrow lanes of Zakir Nagar in southeast Delhi.

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"When the police came here on Sunday, we got to know about his alleged activities... we can't imagine that he could do something like this," his relative, who did not wish to be named, said.

She asserted that if the allegations against the student turn out to be true, his family members will not support him. "We are cooperating with the police," she added.

The relative further said that Farouqui, a fourth-year B Tech student of Bioscience department, was a bright student and had "easily" cracked the engineering exam to get into IIT.

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However, over the last few years, Farouqui has not been keeping well, she said.

He had limited interaction with his family and has not come to meet them for years, she added.

Farouqui's mother and uncle work in a factory, while his sister is employed at a boutique, the relative said.

One of their neighbours in Zakir Nagar said, "We saw him a long time ago. He was a quiet and composed individual." Assam Police's Special Task Force (STF) Inspector General Parthasarathi Mahanta had earlier said that after interrogating Farouqui, police found credible evidence of his links with IS and he was arrested.

The student was detained three days after the ISIS India head Haris Farooqi alias Harish Ajmal Farukhi and his associate Anurag Singh alias Rehan were arrested in Dhubri district after they had crossed over from Bangladesh. PTI NSM RHL

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