12 years prisoner
‘Who will return my 12 years of precious life I lost in jail’
Mir Liyaqat Ali
Srinagar, Feb 20:Mohammad Hussain Fazili, 42, who was recently acquitted and released by a court in Delhi serial blasts case, has said that in captivity he was forced to drink urine, eat human waste and his religious belief was violated.
It was on evening of November 21, 2005, when J&K Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel barged into Ghulam Rasool Fazili’s house at Buchpora in downtown Srinagar to detain his son Mohammad Hussain Shah, then 30 years old in connection with Delhi serial blasts.
The serial blasts on October 29, 2005 had left 67 people dead and over 220 injured.
“On evening of November 21, 2005 I was sitting at home. We saw some police men jumping over the wall to enter into our premises. We initially thought that it was a crackdown but soon realized that it was not a crackdown but a raid. I along with my brothers was paraded in a single row and one of the police official asked who is Mohammad Hussain Fazili. When I came forward, they caught hold of me and took me to a separate room, where they interrogated me. Later, they took me alongwith them to their camp (cargo), where I was interrogated,” Fazili told Rising Kashmir at his Buhpora residence in downtown Srinagar.
He said during his interrogation, he was told whether he knew Tariq Dar, another Kashmiri detained 10 days before his arrest. “I told my interrogators that I don’t know any Tariq Dar and I am innocent. I told them I belong to a poor family and have never visited Delhi”.
Fazili said on the same evening, another Kashmiri youth Rafiq Ahmad Shah, who has also been acquitted by the court recently, was also brought to cargo for questioning.
“I pleaded that I was innocent but they did not listen to me. The next day they blind-folded me and airlifted me to Delhi alongwith Shah,” he said.
He said once in Delhi, Delhi Police’s Special Cell conducted their identification parade before Tariq Dar, who told the cops that he didn’t know us. “Despite that we were not released and kept in detention”.
Thus began Fazili’s 12-year long ordeal to prove himself innocent.
While recounting the torture and trauma he went in detention during last 12 years, Fazili said, “I could not understand whether investigation was going or my religious beliefs were being deliberately violated”.
“We were forced to suck each other private parts and forced to urinate in each other mouth. We were forced to drink urine and eat human waste alongwith bread,” he said adding rats were put in their trousers.
As if it was not enough, he said, pigs were let loose to lick their mouth and face. “At the same time, cops used to push water and bread into our mouth”.
“Even Shah’s beard was shaved off forcibly,” he said adding, “We thought since we were Kashmiris and Muslims, it was the only reason for facing such torture”.
Fazili said during the interrogation, cops told them that they knew they were innocent and had not carried any blasts.
“I was 30 years old and my family was preparing for my marriage when I was arrested. Today I am 43-years old. I neither saw my parents nor my siblings during 12 years of imprisonment in Tihar Jail. Due to financial constraints, my family could not afford to visit me in Tihar jail,” he said.
He, however, said despite facing serve hardships, his family members managed to pay his lawyers fee.
Fazili walked free on February 16 this year after a court acquitted him and Raiq Shah and ordered his release.
“I lost 12 years of my life in the jail. Who is going to return me these 12 years during which I could not see my parents and siblings a single time,” he said.
He is shocked after seeing his mother Fatima in miserable health condition.
“I had never thought that my imprisonment would have had such an impact on my parents. I am mentally and physically disturbed after seeing condition of my mother, who has suffered brain hemorrhage during my detention period and one side of her body has been paralysed,” Fazili said.
He said he was shocked to see his mother being helped by three persons to stand up. “On seeing me, she cried loudly and I consoled her fearing her health conditions may deteriorate further”.
“I don’t know how to start my life again now that 12 years of my life have been spoiled,” he said.
Fazili said he has failed to understand why he was arrested. “I , Rafiq and Tariq did not know each other and had no connections with the blasts”.
“Even the judge while delivering the verdict said it took long time to get us released,” he said.
According to him, everything has changed back home. “I could not recognize this place where I lived for 30 years”.
Fazili said that he is sad over loss of lives in Delhi blasts but at the same time more saddening was innocents were punished for it.
“No such incidents should take place and innocents should not be made scapegoats and punished like us. We demand justice and want those who framed us be questioned and punished,” he said.
He said all the cases of Kashmiri lodged in jails outside State should be investigated fairly to save lives of innocents jailed in fabricated cases.
“I lost 12 years of life in jail and nobody is going to return these years to me. I don’t expect anything from the state government or any other agency as they did nothing for us during these years,” he said.