After being in jail for over 15 years for housebreaking and attempted theft, a man will be set free by authorities who have acknowledged the "gross injustice" committed in the case.
Gayasuddin, from Nagpur in Maharashtra, left his home in September 1993 in search of a job and was arrested in Raipur on charges of entering a house, allegedly for theft. He was 17 years old then.
Now, the jail authorities in this Chhattisgarh capital acknowledge the case is "a gross injustice" with the man and said that he will be released soon.
"I am shocked to know the injustice done to Gayasuddin. He was arrested under section 457 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment)," Santkumar Paswan, director general (jails), told IANS.
"Police presented his case in a local court and as Gayasuddin could not give a satisfactory answer to the court as to why he entered someone's house, he was sent to jail for a brief period but till date he has not come out," Paswan said.
He said: "Since September 1993 he has been an undertrial. Jail authorities are sure he is innocent and we are now rushing through with the paper work to release him within a week after formally informing the court.
"Jail authorities are looking at the case completely from the human angle. It seems shocking that someone who was arrested under minor charges, which were never proven, spent his precious years in jail," Paswan added.
Gayasuddin suffered a minor mental problem while he was an undertrial and was treated at a mental hospital in Gwalior, the police said.
All these years, Gayasuddin's mother Begum Banu did not know where her son was. She just could not believe it when jail authorities contacted her earlier this week and informed her that her 'missing' son is in Raipur central jail and the authorities want to set him free after completing the formalities.
Banu along with Gayasuddin's brother Sheikh Jamil reached Raipur as guests of the jail authorities and have met Gayasuddin in jail thrice since on Monday.
"It was an emotional scene when Gayasuddin and his mother broke down in jail when they first met each other after 15 years," SS Tigga, Raipur central jail superintendent, told IANS.