“Rupees five lakh can’t buy my 14 years back, but it can help me provide a better education to my daughter who is just four-year-old,” said Mohammad Amir Khan, who was acquitted in 18 terror cases in January 2012, after spending 14 years in jail.
“I was 18-year-old when I was picked up by the Delhi Police in December 1997. I was tortured and forced to sign several blank papers. The police had charged me in 18 terror cases. The trials began, but one after another I was acquitted in all the cases,” said Mr. Khan, who lives with his wife and daughter in Jamia Nagar.
The trials, however, took 14 years to get resolved, during which time Mr. Khan lost his father and due to the shock, his mother suffered a brain haemorrhage.
After prolonged illness and being bedridden, she died in 2015, said Mr. Khan.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took up his case suo motu based on media reports in 2014 and for the next four years it relentlessly fought for compensation for his wrongful confinement.
A call from the police
Mr. Khan finally got a call from the Delhi Police asking him to visit DCP (North) office to come and complete the formalities required before the compensation could be released to his account. After the formalities, ₹5 lakh was credited to my account on April 7, said Mr. Khan.
When asked for comment on the compensation granted to Mr. Khan, the Delhi Police declined to respond.
A police officer, however, said that this is not the first time that compensation has been granted to someone like Mr. Khan.
We follow orders of the NHRC and the court in regards to monetary compensation for any victim, said the officer.
‘Many like me’
“I am thankful to the judicial system, the NHRC and the Delhi Police for the compensation amount that I have received, but I demand a rehabilitation policy for people like me. Society should change its perceptive and treat us like any other normal person. Like me, there are many people who want to live a simple and respectful life,” added Mr. Khan, who works for an NGO that campaigns for a secular, peaceful and humane world.
The NHRC, in its notes, said that the chronicle of allegations made against the victim piled up over the years without any substance. The material on record reflects the excesses committed by the concerned police authorities and also how he suffered incarceration silently, stated the commission.
Mr. Khan’s conduct in prison was found very satisfactory and praiseworthy by the Jailer of District Jail, Ghaziabad. All the newspaper reports were unanimous over the human rights violation of the victim and the commission cannot afford to differ with the wisdom displayed by the courts and the media, it added.