Framed, Damned and Acquitted-Dossiers of Very Special Cell is an interesting report which speaks about the manner in which the Delhi Police Special Cell went about terming several youth as terrorists, but were unable to defend the same in the court of law.
Prepared by the Jamia Milia Islamia University, this report deals with 16 cases in which there are 11 youth from Kashmir. These cases were booked between the years 1992 and 2008 and each one of them resulted in an acquittal for the want of proper evidence and in some cases it was also stated that the evidence had been tampered with.
Here are the cases studies of some of the cases:
Farooq Ahmed and 16 others were picked up in the year 1996 in connection with the car blast at Lajpat Nagar. In this case four of them were acquitted. Those acquitted in the case were Mirza Iftiqar Hussain, Latif Ahmed Waza, Syed Maqbool Shah and Abdul Gani.
It was alleged by the police that a Waza was in possession of a Rs 2 note which was to be handed over to Hussain. The note was said to be a code for the delivery of Rs 1 lakh which was meant to be used for the blast. It was also the case of the Delhi police that Farooq’s clothes and a stepney of the car used in the blast were recovered from the house of Maqbool.
However in court the case fell apart and there was no involvement of either Hussan or Waza which was found. It was also found that he delivery of the Rs 1 lakh had taken place on June 16th after the entire incident had come to a close and there was also no evidence that the recovery that took place at Maqbool’s house belonged to Farooq. In the year 2010, Faqoor and Farida Dar were found guilty of making phone calls claiming responsibility for the blast, but they were released as they had served out their jail term.
The case against Ayaz Ahmed Shah was that he had confessed to be part of the Hizb-e-Islami outfit in Kashmir. He was picked up in the year 2004 at the Metro Station in Delhi on the ground that he was waiting for a youth to deliver explosives and hawala money.
However there was no public witness and the witness given by the police were found to be contradictory in nature. Moreover the police were unable to ascertain that he belonged to the outfit in question.
In the case against Arshad Malik it was alleged that he came to Delhi from Kashmir to collect funds. The police also stated that they had recovered cash and explosives based on his confessions.
The court however suspected tampering of the forensics report and also held that enlisting of independent witnesses had been left out by the police deliberately. While the first report stated that an AK-47 had been seized the recovery memo mentions the weapon as an AK-56.
Saqib Rehman, Ahmed Shah, Nazir Ahmed, Moinuddin Dar, Bashir, Abdul Majid Bhat, Abdul Qayoom Khan and Birender Kumar Singh were arrested July 2, 2005 were arrested after a chase by the police on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. It was alleged that they were ferrying a consignment of arms.
In this case, the evidence did not stand on various counts. It was found that the registeration of the car was done months after the incident. The court in its verdict held that four police officers had fixed these youth at the behest of Major Sharma of the military intelligence. Sharma was trying to get Dar to work for him and when he refused this case was built up.
The case of the police against Gulzar Ganai and Amin Hajam a government employee was that they were closely associated with a Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative by the name ABu Tahir. They were picked up in the year 2006 and it was stated that they were in Delhi to supply arms and ammunition. A sum of Rs 6 lakh was also recovered.
During the testimony before the court, the witness stated that the two had been arrested much earlier than what was shown and it amounted to illegal detention. Moreover the claim of the police that they were in a bus that day was also turned out when the conductor testified that they were not on that bus. Moreover the ticket chart also does not mention anything.
In the month of March, year 2005, the police arrested Hamid Hussain, Mohammad Shariq, Iftekhar Ahsan Malik, Maulana Dilawar Khan, Masood Ahmed, Haroon Rashid from Delhi and Dehradun. The charge against them was they Hamid was a Lashkar operative who had visited Kashmir to get arms. It was also stated that as per their confession they were planning to attack the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun.
However in court the police were unable to link Hussain with the incident.
Tariq Dhar was picked up by the Bangladesh Rapid Action Battalion on charges that he was an agent with the Research and Analysis Wing. Dar was then sent to New Delhi and he was picked up by the Delhi Special Cell. It was alleged that he was aiding a commander of the Lashkar in Dhaka.
In the court the police filed a discharge application against him and also there was nothing to show that he was a wanted accused.
Imran Ahmed was arrested on the charge that he was the brother of a Lashkar operative Khali and was helping in facilitating an operation. The court however did not find any evidence and it also held that there was a contradiction in the statements made by the police. It was also held that he was carrying money with him to buy a house in Delhi and not for a terror strike.
In the case of Khurshid Ahmed Bhatt it was alleged that he was named by a Jaish-e-Mohammad operative. In the year 2008 when he was arrested he was a juvenile. The police said they had recovered a Jaish Id card and also some arms.
The court however held that there was not a single witness to the arrest. Moreover the claim by the police that they reached the Pampore police station and then went to Khadawala Chown where the the Jammu and Kashmir police checked passing vehicles, and arrested Khurshid, all between 4.30 pm and 5 pm. Court found the claims of doing so much in 30 minutes was a bogus claim.
Mukhthar Ahmed Khan was arrested from Azadput on June 12 2007 on the charge that he was a Lashkar operative staying a hotel in Delhi. The police said that he had the contacts of top Lashkar leaders and also had been to Kashmir to collect explosives.
In the court the prosecution was unable to prove that the phone belonged to him. Moreover the Delhi police had claimed that he had disappeared despite being under the radar and the court questioned the police as to how this had happened.
Manisha Sethi of the Jamia Milia Islamia University says the report suggests that the police stand exposed before the court of law. We worked on the cases of absolute acquittal and our team compiled records of court proceedings and also got some information through the RTI.