Ironically, the investigation conducted by the Delhi police themselves discovered that this man couldn’t have been involved in the crime he’s being accused of…two years later, he’s still being tortured in an Indian prison.
A Kashmiri Student writes from The Tihar Jail
“I was brutally tortured, forced to drink my urine and kept with a pig in the jail cell,” writes Muhammad Rafiq Shah of suburban Alesteng here in his letter from the Tihar jail where he is languishing for the past three years without trial. Rafiq was a student of Kashmir University when arrested for ‘carrying out blasts” on the eve of Diwali in New Delhi on October 29, 2005. The then vice-chancellor Kashmir University has testified Rafiq was in the campus on the day of blasts.
The then Delhi Police chief, KK Paul, had given Rafiq a clean chit. But its Special Cell claims he’s guilty.
“I am innocent and falsely implicated in the case by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in collaboration with Special Task Force of Kashmir Police. I was a regular student of the department of Islamic Studies in Kashmir University where I was pursuing Masters Degree. I was picked up by the joint team of Delhi and Kashmir police from my home at midnight,” Rafiq states in the letter.
“I was brought to Delhi where I was brutally tortured, forced to drink urine. I was kept naked and forced to suck private parts of co-accused. Rats were let into my trousers and when I cried, the police officials laughed and took my pictures with their mobile phones. To shake my religious sentiments, my body was touched with a small pig. Later I was kept locked with the pig in a single cell. The police officials used to say ‘every Kashmiri is a terrorist.’ A gun was pointed at my forehead and I was made to sign a bundle of blank papers,” he writes.
“In 2006, five persons were produced before the print and electronic media by the UP Police in which they spilled the beans of the Delhi blasts. I fail to understand why I am being victimized when my innocence is crystal clear. I have full faith in Almighty Allah and that justice will prevail and the police will get exposed,” the letter adds.
Rafiq’s mother, Mehmooda Akhtar, maintains that her son is innocent. “I can’t bear the inhuman treatment of my innocent son by the Delhi Police. Due to torture he has developed various disorders. I will hold the chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad responsible for my son’s plight. What happened to his assurance that no Kashmiri will be harassed outside the state,” she asked.
“We made many representations to ministers and bureaucrats. They only gave hollow assurances. I want to see my son free and I will fight till my last breath,” she said.
Even the then vice-chancellor of Kashmir University, Professor Abdul Wahid Qureshi had testified that Rafiq was in the Islamic Studies department on the day of Delhi blasts. “Rafiq was a regular student. According to teachers and records, on the day of blasts in Delhi he was in classroom. The university has played its role by issuing certificate in this regard to his parents,” Wahid had told Greater Kashmir in June last year.
Curiously, in its January 21, 2006 issue, The Times of India reported under the headline ‘Test doesn’t show Rafiq was 29/10 bomber’: “The claim made by the Special Cell of Delhi Police that they have arrested the Govindpuri bomber is fast falling apart. The narco-analysis test of the accused Muhammad Rafiq Shah was perhaps their last hope. But even that has failed to prove that Rafiq was the one who planted the bomb in the DTC bus at Govindpuri on October 29.”
Quoting KK Paul, the report adds that Rafiq “does not seem to be the Govindpuri bomber; it seems at this stage that all the bombers have fled the country. Even in annual press conference, he (Paul) has refrained from stating Rafiq was the actual bomber even when Special Cell had requested for test identification of the accused. The Special Cell however insisted that Rafiq was the bomber. As it has now turned out, the only reason was that Rafiq’s face resembled with that of the accused in the portrait prepared by the cops.”
The sketch of the bomber was prepared on description provided by one Rajiv Sinha who has been made a key witness in the case. The Special Cell had released three portraits of the bomber; one with a French beard, the other with a moustache and the third a clean-shaven one. Finally they tracked down Rafiq, whose face resembled with one of the portraits, in Srinagar.