Ibrahim Ali Junaid is absolved of the charge but not relieved of police hounding. He has reason to be so. Just three days before his wedding, policemen rang him up, asking him to appear before them in connection with the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts.
“You must come whether you’re getting married or not,” they told him. Having no other option, Junaid went to their office at Begumpet and patiently answered all questions.
He is among the several Muslim youngsters picked up by police after the Mecca Masjid terror attack in May, 2007 and absolved of the ‘terror connection’ charges subsequently. The government even paid compensation. But “police harassment” continues.
“Even after the court acquitted me of different criminal charges like planning terror attacks, falsely invoked by police and the government issuing a character certificate subsequently, police are after me for things I am no way connected,” he says.
The Unani doctor runs a clinic at Gulshan Iqbal Colony of Old City and wonders whether the character certificate issued by the government is of any use when police is hounding him without any evidence against him.
Junaid was a Unani medicine student when he was summoned by a special police team some three months after the blasts. Initially, he was bombarded with questions about his possible association with terror outfits citing a terror conspiracy case registered in connection with a land dispute in the Moosarambagh area.
“I took objection to linking me with the Mecca Masjid blast and asked if I was being victimised just because I was a Muslim,” recalls the doctor. Police officials, annoyed over his objections, started intimidating him. He was let off but picked up a few days later again. This time, plainclothes policemen took him to an undisclosed location.
For the next one week, he was allegedly detained and tortured before being produced in a local court. “They slapped terror charges and terrorised me to admit whatever they said,” he recalls. After waging a legal war for over a year, Junaid was cleared of the charge by the court.
Strangely, this has not stopped police from harassing him. Whenever a terror attack case is reported anywhere, police teams land up at his house and demand answers to the same old questions. The case of 28-year-old Syed Imran Khan is no different.
He is ready to work as a police constable though he is an engineering graduate. He feels it is the only way he can prove his innocence as policemen keep knocking his door whenever terror incidents are reported even as he was acquitted of a terror conspiracy case.
“I will be in front of police officers all the time if I am given a job in the department. They can then monitor me round-the-clock instead of calling and questioning every time terrorists strike somewhere,” says the engineer working with a private firm.
Imran from Bowenpally area was arrested a week after the Mecca Masjid blast in May, 2007. He came out on bail after languishing in prison for 18 months. The court acquitted him of the terror case, eventually. While the others who were acquitted were given compensation by the government, his name was not considered for reasons best known to the officials.
“They said I was trained in Pakistan, and RDX was seized from me. Since the court cleared me, can police show the huge quantity of RDX they had claimed to have seized from me?” he asks.