Millennium Post

Blast accused missed out on his youth, sisters' nuptials

In 2005, Mohammed Rafiq was attending college in Jammu and Kashmir, when serial bomb blasts ripped the national Capital, killing 67 people and injuring 225 people.

Rafiq, at that time, did not know that he would have to carry the weight of the 67 deaths on his shoulders. He was arrested for the blasts, branded a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative and spent 12 agonising years in Tihar Jail.

Before he was sent to prison, Rafiq was eagerly awaiting the wedding of two of his sisters, which he thought he would be attending.

One of the lawyers who helped Rafiq fight the case, Bhavuk Chauhan, told Millennium Post: "He was waiting for his sisters to get married. He had hopes that he would soon be released from prison and would then be able to meet his family.

But the case kept dragging and his sisters got married, while he languished in prison".

Rafiq was picked up along with Mohammad Hussain Fazli, a shawl vendor who was apprehended the same day as Tariq Ahmed Dar, the arrested LeT member
After Rafiq's sisters got married, he lost all hope and thought that he would never be released. "There were bouts of frustration that he went through. He was tortured in excess and his youth was spent in jail," the lawyer added.

The lawyers slammed the Special Cell investigation and the way the case had been protracted for the past several years, as the witnesses would never turn up for the meeting. One lawyer, who did not wish to be named, said: "It was the Investigating Officer of the case, Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, who never turned up for court hearings on several occasions. He was summoned 25-30 times for evidence and bailable bonds had been issued against him".

However, Yadav brushed aside the charges levelled against him and welcomed the Court order. He also stated that he was not happy with the acquittal. "We welcome the court's judgment. I am waiting for the order of the court and will examine it, and later we will approach the higher courts".

Yadav was quick to point out that the mastermind of the serial bomb blasts, Abu Ujashah was killed in a cross fire in Srinagar. "He died in a shootout and was the mastermind. The police conducted the best possible investigation."
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