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When Will He Be Released?

Rajeev Yadav

“I trust my god, he will be released soon”, exclaimed Rifat Fatima. In several meetings with Ghulam Qadir, I came to know Rifat. Now is the time that Uttar Pradesh government should know her too. Rifat is the fiance of Sajjadur Rahman and since four years she has been waiting for him far away in valley of Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir.

She was engaged to Sajjad in October 2007. In December, the same year, Sajjad was accused of being involved in a blast in UP courts and was arrested. When I asked her whether she has had any proposal in past four years, she took a pause and said, “yes but I rejected all”. At that time Sajjadur Rahman was studying in Deoband. In December 2007 he went to his home in Kashmir for Eid celebration. His father said that the local police of Kishtwar picked him on 20th December 2007. With his eyes filled with tears he also reported that his wooden house was also damaged badly by these police officials. On the contrary the police records show his arrest with Akhtar Wani on 27th December 2007.

I still recall the face of Akhtar Wani’s father when he came to Lucknow regarding the arrest of his son and when asked to remove his woolen cloths he said to his lawyer Mohammad Shoaib that,  “I am very poor and I can’t come to Punjab very often. Please save my child. He is innocent.” When corrected that this is not Punjab but Uttar Pradesh he was not ready to accept. We never met him again. Father of Sajjadur Rahman said that in the grief of his son’s arrest he became a heart patient and finally died.

Mohammad Sabir was keen to get those documents in which it is furnished that his son was involved in a motor accident on 16th of November 2007 and was in custody till 24th of November while in the UP court, the police claim that he was involved in the bomb blast on 23rd November 2007.

According to the police Sajjadur Rahman had planted a bag full of bombs in the Lucknow court. Police has formed charges of sedition, conspiracy, attempt to murder and registered cases under Explosive Substances Act against Sajjadur Rahman. Advocate Shoaib filed the discharge petition following which the Court freed Sajjadur Rahman in Lucknow blast case on 14 April 2011.

The question here is who is the real culprit of spoiling those four years which Sajjad spent behind the bars.

Father of Sajjad, Ghulam Qadir Wani considers this judgment as a blessing. A low income farmer in Kistwar, he could not afford to meet his son in Lucknow very often. Ghulam Qadir did not even have sufficient money to fight his son’s case and hire a lawyer for him. He says, “I am thankful that Mohammad Shoaib fought my son’s case without asking for a penny and justice loving people supported me which resulted in his acquittal from one case”. Even after all this Ghulam Qadir sincerely believes in the justice system. He adds that “the way police picked him and registered cases against him, we were not hopeful about his release at all.  But god has accepted our plea and I am sure he will be acquitted in Faizabad court bomb blast case too”.

Rifat is overwhelmed with happiness after this decision when asked if she ever met Sajjad in Lucknow, she replied, “No. It’s too far.” Enquiring about UP she asked, “It’s too hot there in summer, right? When he will be released finally?”

In the name of terrorism these boys are kept in high security ward where they have to spend 23 hours in the hot summer heat.

On 23rd November 2007 bomb blasts took place in courts of Lucknow, Faizabad and Banaras. Five Muslim youth Tariq Qasmi from Sammopur village of Azamgarh, Khalid Mujahid from Madiyahoon of Jaunpur, Aftab Alam from West Bengal and Akhtar Wani and Sajjadur Rahamn were arrested from different locations after the blasts. Soon, due to people’s pressure, the Mayawati government formed a committee headed by Justice Nimesh and now Samajwadi party’s government is talking about their release. Therefore the question of release of these two Kashmiri boys is important as they are also in jail for the same case.

The ‘master mind’ of all these blasts Aftab Alam is already freed. In December 2007 when Aftab Alam alias Raju alias Mukhtar was arrested and was accused of being HuJI terrorist. He was acquitted by the court within a time of less than a month. Back then along with RDX and weapons, a huge bank balance was also shown with him. After intervention of Human Rights groups within 22 days the STF presented an excuse for confusion in name and seek apology.

In court blasts of UP, fingers have been raised on police stories since long. Police has claimed HuJI and other Islamic organizations have carried these blasts. Arrested youths were also presented as members of these organizations. In Faizabad court the bombs exploded under shade number 4 and 20 which belongs to District officer of BJP Vishwanath Singh and Mahesh Pandey. Both were absent at the time of explosion. Police never questioned them. On 25th December 2007 ADG Brijlal said in a press conference that the technique of bomb blast is identical or similar to blasts which happened in Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad. According to NIA, the Mecca Masjid blast was carried out by Hindu right organizations. If Brijlal is right in his conclusions then in UP Court blast cases there must be a hand of some Hindu right wing organizations.

(This article was first published in newzfirst.com)

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