2 Of 6 Valley Men Framed By Cops Were Postgraduates, Fought Own Case10 February 2011
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Haji Gulam Moinuddin Dar (36), an M.Phil in History from Kashmir University and an aspiring politician, still regrets his decision to come to Delhi with five friends six years ago. Police claimed Dar and his friends were terrorists who had stolen an Indica car and fired at policemen during an encounter in the Kapashera area of Southwest Delhi on July 2, 2005. Police also claimed to have recovered an AK-47 rifle, magazines, cartridges, hand grenades and fake currency at their instance from Srinagar. This February 2 - almost six years after their arrest - Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Virender Bhat acquitted Dar and six others, saying the encounter had been staged by police and the men framed. Dar, Saqib Rehman (also a History postgraduate), Bashir Ahmed Shah, Nazir Ahmed Sofi, Abdul Majid Bhat, Abdul Qayoom Khan and Birender Kumar Singh were free to go. But Tihar officials said the six who came from Kashmir (barring Singh) were taken on transit remand to J&K, where they are wanted in another case. Refusing to live with the tag of “terrorists”, the young men, who come from humble backgrounds, fought the case in Delhi on their own. Dar even filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to puncture the police claim. He proved that the car had never been stolen from Pandav Nagar in East Delhi as claimed by police. “We belong to a poor family and could not afford a lawyer. Dar, who is my brother-in-law and well-educated, decided to fight the case on his own. He carefully drafted the legal documents and pursued the case on his own,” said Shaukat, Dar’s relative, on phone from Srinagar. He said Dar was general secretary of the Youth Congress in Srinagar when he was arrested. In one of his bail applications, Shah wrote that “the applicant’s mother passed away on December 8, 2009 and there are many religious rituals which he has to attend and perform. He is suffering from mental depression inside the jail and he needs to see his 100-year-old father”. Acquitting them, ASJ Bhatt said: “The accused have been languishing in jail for no fault of theirs... at the behest of Major Sharma whose attempts to persuade accused Gulam Moinuddin Dar to work for him in getting militants to surrender in Kashmir were spurned by him (Dar) or to earn undue honours or awards for themselves. In today’s aspirational world of glitter, fine dining and mall culture, only money and material matter. Values such as service to the nation, integrity and honesty are becoming rare.” Asking the Delhi Police Commissioner to initiate an inquiry into the case, the court directed the SHO of Kapashera police station to register a case against four policemen - Ravinder Tyagi, Nirakar, Charan Singh and Mohinder Singh. Tyagi is currently posted with the Special Cell, the anti-terror unit. Police officials said they have decided to move the Delhi High Court against the order.