Hyderabad: They are the
worst victims of physical and mental torture by police in the
Mecca Masjid blast case. But like justice, compensation too seems
to elude them till date.
A few hours before Mohammed Raeesuddin was to receive a cheque of
Rs.300,000 along with 15 others, his name was deleted from the
Syed Imran Khan and his uncle Shoaib Jagirdar, who were among the
first to be arrested on false charges for the May 18, 2007, blast,
did not find a place in the list.
There are others who were subjected to police harassment, but are
yet to receive the compensation on the ground that there are some
cases pending against them.
Out of 84 suspects rounded up by police after the blast, the
government identified 70 for compensation and paid them Rs.70 lakh.
More than 15 of them were denied compensation in last minute
changes to the list.
The victims say it is a deliberate attempt by police to deny them
the compensation on the pretext of other false cases.
Take the case of Mohammed Raeesuddin. He was picked up by police
and tortured because he was a witness in another case in which the
Gujarat police had shot dead a youth, Mujahid Saleem, in Hyderabad
in 2004. "I am a witness in the case. He was my friend and I want
the Gujarat police officers who killed him to be punished,"
Raeesuddin told IANS.
"They lifted me from the road. I was kept in a farmhouse for eight
days where I was stripped, thrashed and given electric shocks. The
police wanted me to withdraw as witness in the Mujahid case. They
threatened to implicate me in the Mecca Masjid case if I did not
withdraw," recalls Raeesuddin, who was working in a jewellery shop
when he was picked up by police and kept in illegal detention.
Raees feels more than compensation, a character certificate would
help him in getting a job. "People don't give me a job as they
still view me with suspicion because of the stories cooked up by
police," he said.
He complains that police harassment is still continuing. "The
police come to my house or call us to police stations on dates
like 'Bonalu', 'Ganesh Chaturthi' and Dec 6. They do all the
harassment in the name of maintaining peace and law and order in
Syed Imran was an executive in a leading private bank and was
about to join a multi-national bank when police picked him and his
uncle, Shoaib, in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast case.
They were accused of involvement in bringing RDX into the city.
Though acquitted, Imran, who spent 18 months in jail, says it is
not possible to again lead a normal life. He is now working in a
small private firm.
The youngster and his uncle have not been paid the compensation as
they are accused in a case of making an illegal passport. The case
was booked a few months before they were arrested for the Mecca
"The police accused us of making illegal passports, but the fact
is that not even an application for a passport was filed," says
Shoaib, a kerosene dealer in Jalna, Maharashtra.
"I don't want money. All I want from them is a character
certificate so that I can continue with my job," said Imran, a
resident of Bowenpally in Secunderabad.
The son of a retired central government employee, Imran says he
will never get a job in a multinational company. "I am still
carrying the terrorist tag and facing social stigma. We were once
behind bars. we have come out, but we feel that mentally we are
still in jail," he said.
There are others who were booked in various cases during their
detention in the blast case. "One of them was booked for using a
mobile phone in the jail. Such cases are because the police
implicated them in the Mecca Masjid case," said Majlis-e-Ittehadul
Muslimeen (MIM) legislator, Akbaruddin Owaisi, who wants the
government to withdraw all cases against them and pay them the
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