The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre and Punjab on a plea of the father of a Pakistani national, who landed in Amritsar jail after surviving the 2007 terror attack in the Samjhauta Express, seeking his immediate release.
Irfan, who was onboard the Lahore-bound Samjhauta Express on February 18, 2007, survived the bomb blasts that had ripped apart two passenger bogeys killing 68 persons and injuring several others, and subsequently landed in a jail where he is languishing since then.
A bench comprising justices AK Sikri and RK Agrawal issued notices to the ministries of external affairs, home affairs and the Punjab government on the plea filed by Delhi resident Ashok Randhawa, who runs an organisation ‘South Asian Forum for People Against Terror’.
Randhawa, who has been given the power of attorney by Irfan’s father Muhammad Zahoor to pursue the case in the Supreme Court, has sought a direction to the Centre and the state to take “immediate and necessary steps regarding release of Irfan who is confined in Amritsar jail”.
“The petitioner and victim’s father made various representations to the authorities of Indian and Pakistan governments, but did not receive any reply or response to date,” the plea said.
Seeking enforcement of fundamental rights such as right to life and equality before the law, the plea also said Irfan, a resident of Chak village in Sargodha district of Pakistan’s Punjab province, had come to India on valid travel documents and was on the train on the fateful night.
Efforts to find whereabouts of Irfan after the blasts did not fructify as neither the DNA sample provided by his family back in Pakistan matched with any of the deceased here nor did it come to light that he had landed in a jail, it said.