Bibi Khatoon from Godhara district, Gujarat, is the mother of the
three, who have been acquitted by the court February 21. After the
acquittal of her sons, she is now asking about how will she get
back the valuable years her sons have lost and what can compensate
the trauma the family had undergone.
She says, ever since their arrests,
I have been telling everywhere and every one that my sons are
innocent. After their acquittal, what about their valuable year
they lost in prison? What can compensate the trauma my family had
The trauma and the horror she had
shared with the world during the seminar organised
by ANHAD in New Delhi in 2008.
"One day, someone came to our house and said that my children had
been arrested under POTA. I asked him what POTA was. He did not
know either. My husband was in the market at the time and he got
to now about POTA from someone in the market. When he came back to
home, he found me fainted. From that day on, he was with me for
four more years, after which he passed away", Bibi Khatoon said
during the seminar orgainsed by ANHAD, an NGO based in New Delhi.
"My children were tortured in jail. We used to visit our children
in jail. One day, my eldest son asked me to bring food for them.
On my next visit I took a Tiffin box for them, but the police
officer threw it away, scattering the entire meal on the floor. My
son asked again for food and some clothes. Once again, the police
officer did not allow me to deliver the food to my sons. They did
not however, raise any objections to the clothes", she added.
"Later, two of my younger sons were moved some where else but my
eldest son remained in the same jail. We were not informed where
they had been moved to. We kept on searching for them. After 15
days, when I met my eldest son, he told me that even he did not
know where the other two had been taken. Two days later my eldest
son was also moved. For three months we had no information about
them. One day I received a letter from my eldest son in which it
was mentioned that they were in Sabarmati Central Jail in
Ahemadabad. In his letter, he asked us to visit them in jail and
also to bring some clothes for them. My husband and I, along with
the wives and children of my sons, went to visit them in jail. My
youngest son was still unmarried", she said.
"I do not have any idea that in what cases they are being booked.
They never told me about any torture, perhaps fearing of that I
would not be able to bear it because I remain sick. The only thing
I know about the case is that now a petition is pending in Supreme
Court", she said.
"I have been forced by my
circumstances to start begging on the streets and my two
daughter-in-laws work as domestic help in order to keep our house
running. Both of them get total of Rs. 300 per month. When my
grand children demand for any thing I always find my self in
dilemma and guilt because I can not fulfill even small demands of
theirs which could bring smile on their lips. We do not even have
enough money to hire a lawyer for my children", Bibi Khatoon
recalled in her testimony during the seminar organised by ANHAD in