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After being released from jail after 11 years, the person of Kashmir said- ‘If I am innocent, then return my lost time’

“In the beginning, I was kept alone in a very small room. My body was there but my ruh (soul) was in the house. Many years later, one night I suddenly dreamed that people were bathing my father. I woke up nervous and felt a pain in my heart. Then everything was normal, but after two months my lawyer told me that my father was no more. When I asked for the date, it was found that he died two days after the dream was.”

Bashir Ahmed Baba, who lives in the Rainawari area of ​​Srinagar, was arrested in 2010 by the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Gujarat’s western state of India from the capital Ahmedabad.

At that time he had gone to attend a workshop of ‘Maya Foundation’, a voluntary organization based in Gujarat.43-year-old Bashir Baba used to run a computer institute in Srinagar after obtaining a science degree. He was also associated with Maya Foundation, an NGO that helps parents of children suffering from cleft lip and palate.

Accused of planning terroristic activities

Bashir Ahmed Baba says, “I worked with specialist doctors of NGOs in many villages, then I was called to Gujarat for further training. While I was staying in NGO hostel in Gujarat, Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad. arrested me and some other activists. Rest were released but I was imprisoned in Baroda jail in Gujarat.”

Bashir was charged with possessing explosives and planning terrorist activities in India. However, last week, a Gujarat court ruled him to be ‘acquitted’ of all charges.

Everything has changed

Bashir has returned home after a long time, but a lot has changed in the house.

“I have now come to know that the little land we had, on which I had a computer institute, has been sold. Actually the financial condition of the house was very bad. I was the eldest son and I was in jail . My parents and brother had to go to Gujarat for meeting, a lot of money has been spent on travel and lawyer fees.”

Years later, Bashir used to get the news of the marriage of sisters and the birth of their children through letters. Letters often arrived late, and subsequent investigations by jail authorities would take weeks.

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Bashir says he was confident that justice would eventually come from the court.

“I am satisfied that the court has declared my innocence, but who will return the 11 years of my life?”

Studying while in prison

To spend his time in jail, Bashir not only learned painting, but also graduated with good marks in politics, public administration, intellectual property and a master’s degree from Indira Gandhi Open University in three other subjects.

“Syllabus books used to arrive and I used to get busy in reading. At least I am glad that I could complete my studies.”

Bashir has no complaints with the prison authorities, is impressed by their behavior but still asks the same question over and over again: “Who will return my time to me?”

At the time of his arrest, the then Indian Home Secretary, GK Pillai, described the arrest as “a major achievement in thwarting terrorist conspiracies”.

However, upon Bashir’s acquittal, Mr. Pillai made a statement in the Indian media that “the planner is not the only one, sometimes some people unknowingly help someone. Security agencies should have That keeping the arrests in two parts, those who were directly involved in the conspiracy would have been presented separately and those who had only unknowingly helped would have been presented separately, so that such people would not have to spend decades in jail. ”

But this statement of Mr. Pillai has come so late that it cannot be an answer to Bashir Baba’s question.

Mother believed

Mukhta Bibi, the mother of Bashir Baba, says, “I started crying. I saw the condition of the innocent child in jail. But I knew that he would be released. Every Friday in the mosques of the entire locality, he is released. There were special prayers for him.”

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It is to be noted that after the armed insurgency in Kashmir 30 years ago, there are dozens of Kashmiri youth who were arrested for planning terrorist activities in different states of India and after spending ten to fifteen years in jail, they “Ba-Izzat acquitted”.

The biggest problem for such prisoners is to face the new situation. There are some prisoners who are not even familiar with technology, internet and new modes of transport.

Although Bashir Baba had already done a diploma in computer and after further studies in jail, he does not feel helpless after coming out like many other prisoners.

“My younger brother Nazir Baba has put in a lot of effort. He has to bear the marriage of the sisters, the treatment of the father and then the grief of the father alone. I have to plead my case in the court, travel to Gujarat again and again and the responsibilities of the house. He didn’t even get married. of and wrote to me that after my release we will marry together.”