Indian court acquits Kashmiri engineer after 18 years

Oct 1st, 2014 | Category: Kashmir News

A Kashmiri engineer, who has spent nearly two decades in different Indian jails on fake charges of detonating blasts in New Delhi in 1996, was acquitted by a court in Jaipur city of north Indian Rajasthan state.

Farooq Ahmad Khan, a mechanical engineer, who was arrested on May 23, 1996, by the infamous Special Task Force in occupied Kashmir, was instantly shifted to New Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Farooq Ahmad Khan was acquitted by the Additional District Court, Bandhikui, Jaipur, his brother Ashiq told a Srinagar-based daily newspaper over phone. However, four other Kashmiris, Abdul Ghani Goni, Mohammad Ali Butt, Mirza Nisar and Lateef Ahmad Waja in the same case were awarded life imprisonment by the court for their role in the freedom struggle on Kashmir.

“I’m happy that my brother is being released after nearly two decades of incarceration. At the same time, the lifer given to other Kashmiri brethren has saddened me,” Ashiq, who was on way to Jaipur Central Jail, to receive his brother, said.

Farooq, whose family has a long association with freedom movement, had completed his degree in engineering from Madras University and higher studies from London before joining Kashmir’s Public Health Engineering department in 1991. He served the government as a junior engineer for five years before he was arrested. He was lodged in different jails in occupied Kashmir and in India. He was suffering from multiple ailments at the Jaipur Central Jail. His family had also filed an appeal before the Rajasthan court seeking the trial to be held on day-to-day basis. “In November last year, Farooq’s ailing mother had collapsed during her meet with her incarcerated son. She had developed heart problems due to separation from her son,” a close relative said.

In a letter written to his brother Ashiq around five years ago, Farooq had said, “I am a human living in the world’s so-called biggest democratic country. I am an engineering graduate and was government employee. I joined its services in 1991 as a junior engineer. Now if you are thinking that at this point of time I will be promoted and will be living a healthy life with my loved ones, then you are wrong…I am living the life of an unknown prisoner in jails for past 12 years. We all know that life imprisonment means a maximum of 14 years, which I’ve almost completed. But you will be shocked that I have not crossed my under trial period yet.

“Hail democracy! But this is not one, two or three, we are in hundreds. I have been accused of nothing…My Allah is witness. At the same time I got a chance to keenly monitor the sufferings of Kashmiris lodged in different Indian jails. This injustice has made me understand that India neither has understood us (Kashmiris) nor will understand us…” he further wrote.

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