Tragic, how innocents lost youth in prison

| | Hyderabad

Seven of the ten persons acquitted by the court in 2003 suicide blast case have been released from Charalapally jail in Hyderabad while three, including two from West Bengal, are still in jail in connection with other cases.

Even those who came out after spending more than a decade in prison, their life changed unrecognisably as they had lost prime of their youth in mere suspicions which could not be proved.

For Mohammed Kaleem if the life in prison was lonely the life outside was not going to be any better. He was 23 years old and just a month had passed to his marriage to his childhood sweetheart when police arrested him in 2005 on charges of involvement in the suicide blast at the police task force headquarters.

Today 35-year-old Kaleem doesn't even want to recall those fond memories. As he lost all hopes of an early release and his mother was unable to support his wife, he advised the newly married girl to divorce him and start her life anew. "It would have been unfair to her lead an difficult life with a social stigma of being spouse of an accused in terror case,” he recalled how he took the difficult decision.

With the sole bread earner behind the bars and life turned topsy-turvy his wife returned to her parent’s place and got married to another person. As Kaleem contemplate a new life ahead alone, his former wife is leading her life with her second husband.

“After the arrest of my son the entire family was shattered. We were thrown out of our rented house and now we are living in the house of a relative on the outskirts of LB Nagar,” said Kaleem’s mother Rafeequnnisa Begum.

SIT had charged Kaleem, a welder by profession, with conspiring the attack, visiting Bangladesh and bringing the suicide bomber from there.

“After he was picked up by Task Force, Kaleem was tortured so brutally that even today he is not able to walk properly,” said one of his relatives.

Kaleem was not alone to face this tragedy. Mohammed Abdul Zahed is another face of the same tragedy. A resident of Malakpet Zahed still remains in jail as his another case was pending before the court. Zahed has spent 12 years in prison and on security grounds he was shifted to various jails — including Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundey, Warangal,  Kadapa and Charalapally — and many time he was kept in solitary confinement.

“My only crime was being brother of Shahed,” he said. Shahed was on the run as the suspected member of Bangladesh terrorist organisation HUJI. Indian security agencies say he was killed in Pakistan.

Apart from Shahed, another brother of Zahed was also booked in a different case.

Zahed’s elder brother Abdul Khadar says they never knew what Shahed did and what date he met, but he family had to meet a very big price.

“Zahed was shifted so frequently from one jail to another that our aged parents could never meet him,” said Abdul Khadar. In fact, meeting the family had become such a difficult task after Zahed had assaulted police guard. He had lost his cool after the police guard stopped him when he tried to talk to his parents in court. It led to another case and now he remains in jail awaiting the verdict.

Family of the every acquitted person had a similar tragic story of the lost of a decade of their lives. The verdict of the special court was such a relief for them that they were overwhelmed with emotion and some of them prostrated on the ground to thank god.

Apart from Zahed, Nafeequl Biswas of Kolkatta and Hilauddin of West Bengal remain in jail as they had another case pending in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh.  



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