Shouldn’t the Gujarat police be hauled up for disrespecting Supreme Court’s verdict on Mufti Abdul Qayuum? Despite being acquitted by the Court of all charges related to the 2002 Akshardham Temple attack case, he is still being looked at with suspicion.
Mr Qayuum spent 11 years behind the bars for a crime he had no role to play in. On Thursday, he was set to release his book, “Gyarah Saal Salakhon Ke Peeche”, at a seminar in Ahmedabad but a last-minute diktat from the Gujarat police stalled the book release.
The high-handed police ordered the organisers and Mr Qayuum to refrain from discussing the Akshardham incident. They also stopped the book release. On being confronted, the police authorities said the step was taken to ‘prevent law and order situation in the State’.
It is a clear cut case of intimidation. Perhaps, they are scared of exposure. The book contains detailed account of his suffering as a victim, of police’s inappropriate conduct, of planting of false evidence by the police etc.
Mr Qayuum did not want unnecessary confrontation so he quietly backed off. “We don’t want to just talk about Islam but also humanity and religion. We want the people’s right to live to be safeguarded, so they be allowed to live in peace and harmony,” an emotionally broken Mufti Abdul Qayuum said.
There should be no issue if a terrorist responsible for murdering many people is hanged, but when innocent civilians are falsely implicated, it raises questions on the integrity of the police and hidden agenda. The Supreme Court must seek explanation from the police. They should be asked to tender an apology to Mr Qayuum for stopping him from telling his story.
The image of the Indian police badly needs a face-lift. The incident in Gujarat will only serve to hamper the recovery process.
A brief background:
The 40-year-old Mr Qayuum was teaching in a madrasa before being arrested, in 2003. The police charged him for being hand-in-glove with two terrorists, who were killed in the attack. A lower court in Gujarat sentenced him to death. But on May 17, 2014, the Supreme Court intervened and served justice! He was acquitted of all charges.