It took more than one decade for two Muslim youths to get out of trial, terror-tag and torment when they were acquitted of terror charges by a trial court.
Irshad Ali and Maurif Qamar, were picked up in December 2005 and kept in “illegal custody” for weeks, after which they were named in a terror conspiracy case.
Police had claimed that the duo were arrested with arms and ammunition on 9 February 2006 at Mukarba Chowk in Delhi, as soon as they got off a bus from Jammu. However, Delhi High Court has ordered a CBI probe, after Qamar’s brother filed a plea.
The CBI has filed its closure report on 11 November 2008, in which they had concluded that the duo were IB and Special Cell informers and had been falsely implicated. Both of them were released on bail in 2009.
Speaking to Indian Express, Ali said that he lost his parents and six-months old daughter Aaifa while behind bars.
“All because of this case. My mother died within a year of my arrest. She kept knocking doors, visiting police stations, only to get humiliated. My father died earlier this year. He spent every penny he had earned to get me out of jail. My daughter, Aaifa, was six months old when they jailed me. She died in 2013. They said it was diphtheria but the truth is she died because they broke me, ruined my family,” the paper quoted him as saying.
According to the FIR, the police apprehended Ali and Qamar from Mukarba Chowk bus stand in north west Delhi on February 9, 2006. It was alleged that both were members of banned outfit Al-Badr and were carrying arms and ammunition including pistols, live cartridges and detonators.
Thereafter, an FIR under section including 121 (waging war against Government of India) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, and under several provisions of the Explosive Substance Act and the Arms Act was registered.
According to Ali, It was around 2004, when he was introduced to a Kashmiri, Fayaz, who was also working for the IB.
“They had put him up in Laxminagar (in east Delhi). The plan was to send me across the border and infiltrate a militant group… My wife Shabana was scared. She didn’t want me to go.”
Ali too was reluctant but and Fayaz and he made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the border in Jammu.
However, according to Ali, the IB officer’s attitude changed after that.
“On December 12, 2005, Majid called me to the Dhaula Kuan office. There were Delhi Police Special Cell people present. They put me in a car and blindfolded me. I was shocked.”
The accused, however, approached the high court and sought a CBI inquiry in the case alleging that both were illegally picked up by Delhi Police in December 2005 from the city and that they were the informers of the agency’s special cell and Intelligence Bureau, advocate Sufian Siddiqui, the counsel for the accused, said.
The high court directed a CBI probe in the matter and the agency filed a closure report.
The trial court, however, rejected the CBI’s report against which the accused again approached the high court. The high court asked the city court to consider CBI’s report.
The special cell, however, had approached the Supreme Court against the high court order. The apex court in December 2012 directed the trial court to take the call and, if needed, ask the agency for re-investigation in the matter.
The trial court then ordered framing of charges without considering CBI’s closure report, the counsel said.
The accused again approached the high court challenging the city court order for trial in the case. Thereafter, the high court again asked the trial court to consider all the aspects before passing the order which has now resulted into the acquittal of the accused. The accused were on bail since July 2009.
Ali said he thought there will be an outrage in India over his acquittal and how the two agencies of the central government had destroyed the lives of two innocent people. But, it didn’t happen.
He said, “When the CBI proved I was falsely implicated, I thought it would lead to a storm. But this system doesn’t work that way for people like us… There was a debate whether the CBI or the Special Cell was telling the truth. Both belonged to the same government. But the government did nothing.”