Three years ago some plainclothes policemen picked up Gulzar Ahmed Ganai (24) and his friend when they were looking at pillars of the arch at India Gate.
The resident of Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir and his friend were going to Goa but stopped in the Capital on the way. Ganai still regrets the day they took the decision of visiting Delhi.
“Six-seven men pounced on me and my friend Mohammad Amin Hajjam and took us away when we were sightseeing at India Gate,” said Ganai, now a free man, over the phone from Baramulla.
“When we asked what was our fault, they said we were Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) militants.”
On November 13 this year, three years after the Special Cell of Delhi Police arrested them, a city court absolved both the men of all the charges.
The BA final year students then and his friend came to Delhi on November 27, 2006. The Delhi Police showed their arrest on December 10.
The police said the men were arresting when they were alighting from a bus, on way to their alleged hideout in Mahipalpur.
The police said they were terrorists of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) and claimed to have recovered Rs 6 lakh and 1.5 kilograms explosives from their possession.
When the case came up for trial in a court, all that the police had was a DTC bus ticket to prove they were ‘hardcore militants’.
Ganai added that after being whisked away from India Gate, they were confined in a farmhouse for six days, beaten up and forced to admit they were militants.
“They kept telling us we were Kashmiris and should not come to Delhi. They kept beating us for six days and on the seventh day showed our arrest from south Delhi,” said Ganai.
When the case came up for trial, the Special Cell could not prove the charges-the source of the Hawala money, their hideout in Mahipalpur among other things.
“The police claimed in the court that they came to Delhi around 8.30 p.m. on December 10, 2006. On examination of the bus chart, it was found that no such route existed on that day,” said M.S. Khan, the counsel for Ganai and Hajjam.
Hajjam was employed as a clerk in a government office in J&K when he was arrested in Delhi.
“I am planning to complete my studies and my parents are also looking for a suitable match. While we were in jail, I met so many prisoners who had been framed like us. I dread coming back to Delhi,” said Ganai.
The prosecution produced as many as 13 witnesses to prove their allegations.
During the trial, the police had claimed that they got information through technical surveillance that the duo would come to the Capital to deliver the Hawala money and explosives to their associates at the behest of one Mohammed Akmal of Pakistan, who was a district commander of the LeT.
“The court was not satisfied with our evidences. The theory of the prosecution was never denied,” said a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity.