My son was minor at time of Lajpat Nagar blast: Mom
Her son Mirza Nissar Hussain’s primary school leaving certificate is the only proof of age Padshah Begum (65) can produce.
“He was a minor studying in Class 8 when picked up by the police,” said Begum, whose son Hussain is one of three men sentenced to death for the Lajpat Nagar blast in Delhi in 1996 that left 13 people dead and 38 others injured.
The certificate from MG School in Batamaloo, Srinagar, shows Hussain’s date of birth to be December 12, 1979 — which means he was not even 17 at the time of the blast, according to his mother.
Hussain was arrested from Nepal after his elder brother, Mirza Iftikar, was arrested in Delhi. While the Delhi court released Iftikar, Hussain was sentenced to death. The family plans to contest the verdict, claiming there were no witnesses in the case.
“I am convinced my son is innocent. Even if he was involved, how can a person be given capital punishment for a crime when he was juvenile?” she said.
“If the Gandhi family can pardon Nalini (convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case), why can’t my innocent child who has already spend a lifetime in jail be released?” she said.
The families of Hussain and Mohamed Ali Bhatt, also sentenced to death, went on a hunger strike, organised by separatist group Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), to protest the verdict, on Wednesday.
“Each Kashmiri is a victim of conflict, but there has been a transition from violence to non-violence,” JKLF chief Yasin Malik said. “The transition needs to be respected and not replied with awarding capital punishments to the children of Kashmir.”
Malik said he would take the protest to Delhi. “I am in touch with human rights activists, the civil society and some political parties,” he said.