BAREILLY – 48-year-old Muslim man was acquitted in a terror case on Saturday after spending nearly 12 years in prison.
After walking out of Bareilly Central jail, Ghulab Khan, a resident of Bareilly’s Baheri town in UP, said, “God has given me a new life.”
“I had no connection with the terror attack but I was still framed. When I was arrested in this case, I thought that my life and also of my family had been destroyed. The thought of being framed in a terror case was scary. Over the years, I had severe anxiety pangs and thought that I might die of heart attack. When I stepped outside jail, I thanked God. It feels good to breathe in open air. I will start afresh,” Khan was quoted by The Times of India as saying.
Khan who used to run a welding shop in Baheri was arrested in February 2008 on charges of involvement in the terror attack and keeping weapons at home.
His brother-in-law Mohammed Sharif, a native of Rampur, is one of the four convicts given death sentence in the case on Saturday.
“On the morning of February 10, 2008, police picked me up from my house in Baheri. Police had then told me that an FIR has been lodged against me for scuffle in Bareilly city and I have to go there to settle the matter. Even though I told them that I had not gone to Bareilly city for a few months, they took me in their car. Instead of going to police station, I was taken to a guest house where I was kept till the evening. Later, they took me to a police station in Rampur and next day, they took me for medical examination. I was later transferred to prison. When I asked them why I was arrested, I was told that I will learn it after going to jail. I could meet my family only after three months,” said Khan.
Following his arrest, his wife, Nazra, took up tailoring to feed her three kids who are now aged 17, 15 and 13 years. Recalling his struggles, Khan said, “In all these years, our family was in disarray. We faced financial problems and my children had to discontinue their studies. I lost my mother and aunt and I could not even attend their funeral.”
After Khan reached his home in Baheri, scores of people, including kin and neighbours, came to meet him. “Now, the court has acquitted me in this case and I would request the government to help me and my family on humanitarian grounds so that we can lead a dignified life,” said Khan.
Another man acquitted in the case – Muhammad Kausar, a native of UP’s Pratapgarh – was also released from Bareilly Central Jail on Saturday. He along with his brother left for his hometown.