Man acquitted of terror charges alleges harassment by police, writes to top cop
In 2016, a court had sentenced five persons to death and awarded life terms to seven others for their roles in the 2006 serial blasts on trains. Only Wahid Shaikh was acquitted .
Wahid Shaikh, a teacher of English, who was acquitted by a special court of all terror charges in the 2006 Mumbai train blast case, on Saturday complained to the Mumbai Police commissioner alleging harassment by the Ghatkopar police.
In 2016, a Mumbai special court had sentenced five persons to death and awarded life terms to seven others for their role in the July 11, 2006 serial blasts on local trains, which left 189 dead and hundreds injured. Shaikh was the only person to be acquitted of all terror charges but had to spend nine years in jail during the trial.
Since his release, Shaikh, who teaches English in an Urdu school, has taken to activism. He is now associated with the Innocence Network, a collective of individuals and organisations working for the rights of those who have been wrongfully prosecuted or convicted especially under charges of terrorism. Shaikh travels across India to speak on unjust incarcerations and has recently completed his law degree.
Shaikh alleged that on Saturday, police officers visited his home and inquired about his job, his activism as well as his views on the recent extension of the ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India.
In his complaint to the police commissioner later in the day, Shaikh wrote: “They asked me about my law degree and my future plans. They also posed some irrelevant questions. Due to their visit, my family is disturbed and my bedridden mother started crying, thinking that the police will again arrest me in a false case.”
Shaikh claimed that the police had no right to come to his house and make such inquiries when he had been acquitted by the courts. “They could have sent me a notice and asked me to come to the police station. I would have done that. But by coming to my house and interrogating me in front of my family, even when there is no complaint against me, is an attempt to threaten me,” Shaikh said.
Maintaining that he had no association with SIMI, Shaikh added: “The court found all charges against me to be untrue. I am like any other normal Indian citizen. Do policemen walk into the houses of normal individuals and interrogate them in front of their families?”
Sub-Inspector Suresh Avhad, who visited Shaikh’s house, claimed that it was a routine visit and the police did not harass Shaikh.
“We visit the houses of people who are involved in terror cases to see if they are staying at the same location. We did not harass him. I actually congratulated him on him having passed his law exams. There was no harassment from our side,” Avhad, a member of the Ghatkopar DCB CID unit, said.
Courtesy: by ZEESHAN SHAIKH |The Indian Express