Begumpet blast case: I was framed, says Bilal's brother Zahed

Cops tortured and made him sign blank documents.

Hyderabad: “I was implicated in the Task Force office blast case because I am the brother of Shahid Bilal. I doubt whether it was human bomb attack or accidental blast,” said Mohammed Zahed, who was acquitted on Thursday after spending 10 years in prison.

“I was called to the office of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) at Basheerbagh, who were investigating the blast. They asked me to cooperate as it was a serious issue. I did. But on December 19, 2006 I was arrested. The officials told me ‘as you are brother of Shahid Bilal, you are involved’.”

“The police tortured us and forced us to sign blank documents. We doubt whether it was a human bomb blast or an accidental blast. To date, the police have not been able to prove it before the court.”

He gave a shameful picture of how undertrials are treated in our prisons: “In jail, life was very tough. We were mentally tortured. The jail officials encouraged prisoners to call us ‘ISI prisoners’. The jail authorities maintained a register and mentioned us as ISI prisoners and we were kept in isolation.”

Mohammed Zahed’s ordeal began in 2004 when the police registered a conspiracy case against him and others for allegedly planning to kill the then BJP legislator from Malakpet, Indrasena Reddy.

“There was a minor argument between some Muslim youths and a few of the majority community as the latter wanted to build a Ganesh pandal in a graveyard. A few days later, we were arrested in a false conspiracy case,” Zahed said. They were acquitted in that case.

All the accused were released on bail in the Task Force building case in 2006 as the police failed to file chargesheet. “At the instance of the then home minister, the police approached higher courts and got our bail cancelled. Now who will compensate us for the years we lost,” Zahed asked. He demanded that the police officials should be punished.

December 19 will haunt Syed
The date December 19 will always haunt Syed Haji. He was 21 years old and was working as a salesman at a shop when he was arrested for alleged involvement in the Begumpet Task Force office blast on that day in 2005.

“Now the court has pronounced me innocent. Who will compensate me for the 12 years I lost,” he asks.

Haji, a resident of Moosarambagh was a friend of Kaleem and Zahed and the three were arrested in the case. “We knew nothing about it. One fine day the police asked me to accompany them for questioning. I went and was caught,” he recalled.

He recalls that his mother was searching for a wife for him. “Now I have to start afresh, 12 years is a very long time. Only I know how I spent time in isolation chambers,” he says.

Mohd Kaleem was 24 when he went to jail. A welder by profession he was accused of escorting suicide bomber ‘Daleen’ to the task force office. “I did not know where the Task Force office was. How can I go there? The police wanted someone to be arrested, so they picked us up,” he said.

Syed Haji, Mohammed Kaleem and Mohammed Zaheed asked why governments discriminate on religious grounds.

“Colonel Purohit, Pragya Singh Thakur, Aseemanand and Bharath Bhai were freed on bail though serious charges were pending against them. But the government approached higher courts to get our bail cancelled in 2006. Why is it so,” Mohammed Kaleem asked.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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