Two acquitted brothers narrate the torture they were subjected to; younger brother lodged in Sabarmati jail
The deep-beige building at Saidabad is not a site of celebrations as expected. Two of its sons have returned after spending the most significant part of their youth in prisons far off, yet the house wears a sombre look, its members still hesitant to speak to outsiders.
“I am of course glad that two sons have returned home after what was the most difficult phase for us. But till the youngest one returns, I can relax,” says Tasneem Fathima, mother of Mohammed Muqeemuddin Yasir (32) and Mohammed Baleeghuddin Jaber (27), who have returned to the city after being acquitted of all charges by Indore District and Sessions Court.
The youngest son Raziuddin Nasar (25), picked up initially by the Karnataka Police and later handed over to Gujarat Police for allegedly conspiring for Ahmedabad bombings, is now languishing in Sabarmati Central Jail. The family members allege use of third degree torture methods against him during the five months of police custody.
Father spends five years in jail
For four members of this family, police cases and incarceration have become part of their lives. Maulana Naseeruddin, the family head, spent five years in jail on charges of conspiring to kill Narendra Modi, but was acquitted later.
The prolonged imprisonment exacted heavy toll on his health. At 62, he suffers from Addison’s Disease, diabetes, thyroid dysfunction and high blood pressure, all of which showed up for the first time when he was in prison.
Jaber, the younger of the two acquitted, was in his third year of engineering when “lifted” by the AP Police in relation to a conspiracy case after Mecca Masjid bomb blast. “They took me blindfolded to an undisclosed location and tortured me. Later, they handed me over to Madhya Pradesh Police in relation to Dhar conspiracy case. By then, my brother had already been booked under the same case and sent to Indore jail,” he recollected.
Jaber wants to study
Now the biggest challenge before Jaber is to find ways to finish his education, as his engineering admission lapsed during his prison stay. Further, due to severe backache, he cannot sit for more than half-an-hour at a stretch.
His brother Yasir too was initially arrested under the conspiracy case post Mecca Masjid blast. However, he claims that the police tortured him demanding confession related to the twin blasts in Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park in 2007.
In Madhya Pradesh, the brothers were clubbed with 18 alleged SIMI activists in the conspiracy case. Allegation against them was that they had taken part in a meeting in Indore, and delivered some seditious material to SIMI former general secretary Safdar Nagori.
Women secure bail
The path to acquittal was quite taxing. With Maulana already in prison, women members of the family had to assume the mantle of securing bail.
“No advocate would agree to take up our case, as the Bar Council of Dhar passed a resolution against it. A lawyer was attacked when he agreed to work for us, and another’s face was blackened. Presented with the video footages of the same, the MP High Court ordered shifting of the case from Dhar to Indore,” related Yasir.
Meanwhile, his wife Sofia Ahmedi, mother of three children, ran from pillar to post, trying to garner support from human rights activists of Madhya Pradesh.
However, all she got was mere lip sympathy. “What we endured during those days was beyond any description. It is thanks to the almighty that we are together again. It was perhaps, a test by Him,” she says fighting back tears.