Gujarat Court Releases Kashmiri Man After 11 Long Years, “A Person Cannot Be Held Guilty Merely On Fear Of Anarchy”

SRINAGAR: A Gujarat Court acquitted a Kashmiri youth after 11 years of his detention.

Bashir Ahmed Baba, from Rainawari area of Kashmir capital Srinagar, who was arrested in Gujarat for allegedly being a member of Hizbul Mujahideen, was acquitted today after more than 11 years.

His brother Nazir Ahmed told Kashmir News Trust that Bashir Ahmed has reached home and they are jubilant.

He said the Sessions Court in Gujarat cleared Bashir Ahmed Baba of the charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and ordered his release.

Pronouncing his innocence and acquittal, the prosecution “relied on emotional argument and a person cannot be held guilty merely on its fear of anarchy.”

The Additional Sessions Judge S A Nakum rejected the Anti-Terrorism Squad’s case that Baba was associated with Militants.

“No evidence was found that he was in touch with terrorist elements through electronic gadgets,” the Judge said.

Bashir’s family had staged dozens of protests when he was picked up by Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad vouching for his innocence.

The family said that even Jammu and Kashmir Police had informed Gujarat Police about the innocence of Bashir and yet he was not released.

“He faced a lot of hardships and mental torture at Gujarat Jail. Thankfully, the bad days are over,” Nazir Ahmed who works as a Salesman at a shop said.

He said his brother was arrested on mere suspicion.

“He spent 11 dark years in jail just because he was a suspect. He was working as a camp coordinator with Kimaya Cleft Centre associated with the NGO Maya Foundation. He was sent by the NGO for 15 days of training related to his work to one of its centers in Gujarat for which he left home on February 17, 2010. In March next month he was arrested.”

Bashir had completed his Masters in Urdu from Indira Gandhi National Open University in 2009 and then qualified for a 15-day training program in Gujrat Ahmedabad in March 2010 by Maya Foundation – a German NGO running a project for surgical treatment of cleft lip in children in rural areas.

He was booked under an FIR under section 120 (B) of IPC, and sections 16, 17, 18, 20 of the Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in 2010. (KNT)

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