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'I had faith in our judicial system'
Vijay Singh in Mumbai |
June 11, 2005 23:02 IST
Mohhamed Ismail is a happy man after the acquittal of his 28-year-old son Altaf Mohammed Ismail in the Ghatkopar blast case.
He waited long for justice, and finally got what he was expected. Ismail traced the string of events since his son was arrested in the case.
"I was very sure that my innocent son would be acquitted. I had faith in our judicial system. The judges who acquitted my son and the others have strengthened my belief in it.
Altaf is a chemical engineer and completed his education in Parbhani. He was a childhood friend of Khwaja Yunus (who reportedly died in police custody).
Yunus was in Dubai and called Altaf there in 2002 for work. They were room partners in Dubai.
After Yunus, my son was also arrested by the police in the Ghatkopar bomb blast case. Police arrested me because I was Altaf's father. They keep me in custody for a week and beat me up badly in custody.
A day after Khwaja Yunus died in police custody (January 7) the police released me on surety from one of my relatives in Mumbai. I had written to the Human Rights Commission about it.
After release, when I moved court against my arrest, police informed to court that they never arrested me.
I was very disappointed. I was a freelance reporter and social worker. I use to fight social evil, but my innocent son became its victim.
In May, 2004 I arranged my third daughter's marriage. Altaf, my only son, was not allowed to attend that wedding.
We felt very sorry because Altaf was not with us. I have one son and four daughters.
We had big expectations of Altaf, but his arrest destroyed all our dreams.
Now I won't allow him to look for work. He will stay with us in Parbhani. Maybe I can arrange some small business or work for him.
We suffered a lot... each time we met him in jail, his mother would sob to see him behind bars.
Finally we got the Justice. My son has been proved innocent. Locals and relatives know we are a respected family. They never believed my son is involved in the blast."
Arif Paanwala was seen hugging his three-year-old son Asfaq and kissing him while talking to his family members in court on Saturday.
Thirty-two-year-old Arif was among eight youths acquitted by a special POTA court. After the order was passed, he was allowed to chat with his family members for some time.
Arif, who had a pan shop in Kurla, was arrested in May 2003. His brother took over his small business after his arrest.
"My son is innocent. He was a simple businessman and was not involved in any illegal activities. I don't know why police arrested him," Arif's mother Zohda Bano told rediff.com.
His wife said, "I am very happy that he is free now. We were sure that he is innocent and will be out of jail. I have no word to express my happiness".
Arif lives in Kurla with his four brothers and two sisters since his family came to Mumbai 40 years ago.
"Some people ill-treated us because my son was arrested in the blast case; but most who know us well supported us," said Zohda Bano.
"His father is no more, so I am doubly happy that we will have him back with us," said Bano.