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'Want to go home, talk to mom'

Tagged a terrorist and put behind bars, 25-year-old Tariq Ahmad Dar, a Kashmiri, is finally free now, reports Tushar Srivastava.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2007 17:39 IST

Tariq Ahmad Dar walked out of Tihar jail a free man on Wednesday. A Delhi court ordered the release of the 25-year-old Kashmiri who had been branded a terrorist by the police after he was deported from Bangladesh and tagged an Indian spy.

The Delhi Police finally moved an application in court for his discharge after it failed to gather evidence against him.

After the court order, Dar said: "I am tired. I want to go home, talk to mom and pray. I have not spoken to her for so long."

Tariq Ahmad Dar being taken to the Tis Hazari court in New Delhi on Wednesday, January 24, 2007. (HT photo by Sunil Saxena) 

For the Dars, based in Srinagar, the past five months had been a nightmare.

On September 15, Dar, who was making a mark as a successful businessman and a model in Bangladesh, was picked up by the Bangladesh Rapid Action Force. Dar was suspected of spying for India's Research and Analysis Wing. He was kept in illegal detention for 40 days, tortured and deported to India on October 25.

As soon as he landed at the airport, Dar was arrested as the police had been told by the Intelligence Bureau that Dar had links with the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba.

Dar's father, Gulam Nabi Dar, a well-known poet in Srinagar, said: "It was one shock after the other, from one extreme to the other." The Hindustan Times was the first to highlight Dar's plight on November 4.

Releasing Dar, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Seema Maini said in her order: "I cannot restrain myself from observing that it is a sorry state of affairs that a citizen of India has been kept in custody for a period of 90 days, which for an innocent person can actually be an 'entire lifetime'."

A senior police officer said: "It was not as if Dar was being targeted. There were allegations against him and they had to be verified. When nothing was found, we filed an application for his discharge."

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First Published: Jan 25, 2007 17:20 IST