Yesterday, a Delhi Court acquitted two Kashmiri men who were framed by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in the 2005 serial blasts in the national capital. The powerful explosion had killed 67 people, but in fact, the real victims of the incident are 69 people.
The two men – who spent 11 years behind the bar – accused of something they never committed are as much victims of the blast and the politics of Islamophobia and minority witch-hunting.
The judge in his judgement said that “there was no link to establish that the accused were part of any conspiracy related to the blast(s). In fact, one of the accused Mohammad Rafiq Shah, who according to the police planted bombs in a bus in Delhi, was on that day in Srinagar attending classes in his college.
There are documented proofs of the same. And what makes this story sinister is that the elite Special Cell of the Delhi Police, which investigated the incident, knew this all along.
Advocate Rebecca Mammen John, who represented Rafiq, writes, “He (Rafiq) told the special cell to verify these details from his university the moment he was picked up and made an accused in the case. The Special Cell received written confirmation from the university but concealed the evidence from the court. It was left to Rafiq to summon these witnesses and the record of the college in his defence. In a scathing indictment, the sessions court in Delhi virtually indicated that the Special Cell had this evidence with them even before the charge sheet was filed.”
This is not an isolated case. As Manisha Sethi points out in her book, Kafkaland, over 70 percent of the terror cases that the Special Cell of the Delhi Police has investigated has ended in acquittal of the accused. Or in other words, in majority of the cases they frame innocents by fabricating evidence and resorting to custodial torture.
And we are only talking about one investigative agency. In these times of Islamophobia and minority witch-hunting, speaking about these things has become difficult. The accountability must be fixed of all those officers of the anti-terror wing of the city police, who implicated the innocents, hid crucial evidence and also ensured that real culprits remain at large.
The latest incident comes hot on the heels of another high-profile acquittal of Nisar-ud-din Ahmad, who was freed from all charges after spending 23 years in jail last year in May.
Recounting his horrific experience, Nisar had told Indian Express, “I was yet to be 20 years old when they threw me in jail. I am 43 today. My younger sister was 12 when I saw her last. Her daughter is 12 now. My niece was a year old. She is already married. My cousin was two years younger than me, she is now a grandmother. A generation has completely skipped from my life .
“Our father Noor-ud-din Ahmad left everything to fight a lonely battle to prove our innocence. He didn’t see any hope until he died in 2006. Now there is nothing left. Nobody can imagine what it means to a family whose two young sons are jailed.”
Now the big question is; for how long India’s incompetent and often corrupt and biased law enforcing agencies be allowed to play with the lives of innocent lives simply because of their Muslim identity? Why would the guilty officers, who deliberately framed the two Kashmiri Muslims in Delhi serial blasts case, not be tried in the court of law for ruining the lives of two innocent individuals?
The verdict of Delhi court will indeed go a long way in reinstating citizens’ faith in India’s judicial system, but the judiciary must also spell out punishment against the corrupt members of Delhi Police, who sought to draw a sadistic pleasure by causing utter ruins to the lives of two innocent individuals.