After 14 yrs in jail, Pak national walks free

Held as suspected ISI agent, acquitted by HC in 2008

A Pakistani lodged in the Guwahati Central jail for the last 14 years after being arrested as a suspected ISI agent was released Monday and is all set to return home later this week. Syed Fasiullah Hussayni was taken to New Delhi, from where he would be deported to Pakistan.

“We received instruction from the Ministry of Home Affairs last week and prepared for Fasiullah's deportation,” said Assam Home Secretary G D Tripathy on Tuesday.

 “Fasiullah would be deported through the India-Pakistan border at Wagah on December 6,” the secretary added.

The release of Fasiullah, however, came six months after the Gauhati High Court upheld a session court's verdict to acquit him in 2008.

Moving suspiciously 

Fasiullah, 53, along with three others – Javed Wakar (another Pakistani), Moulana Hafiz (from Jammu and Kashmir) and Qari Salim Ahmed (from Uttar Pradesh) – were arrested by Assam police from Guwahati on August 7, 1999, for allegedly ‘moving about in a suspicious manner’. 

The Assam police later arrested six others in connection with a case registered under Sections 120-B/121A, 122, 153-A and 34 IPC and Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946. Kamrup district court and sessions judge had acquitted Fasiullah and eight others in June 2008 after the prosecution failed to substantiate the charges of carrying out anti-India activities. 

The court, however, sentenced Fasiullah to a five-year term in 2008 after he was proved guilty of illegally entering India.

Judgement challenged

Although the Assam police had challenged the session court judgement in the Gauhati High court, the court rejected the petition by the Assam police and upheld the acquittal order May 17 this year.

 The Pakistani national was, however, not released even though the high court had asked the Kamrup district administration and the government to take necessary step for his deportation within 30 days.

“We lodged a complaint petition in the court of Kamrup chief judicial magistrate and the court issued a similar order for deportation,” said Advocate Rafique Islam, the counsel for Fasiulla.

“But the district administration and the Assam government officials said the process was delayed due to official formalities,” the counsel added.

"While hearing the habeas corpus petition on November 18 this year, the high court asked the counsel of the solicitor general of India why the process of his deportation was being delayed. The respondent had sought three weeks' time to respond and he was released from jail on Monday and taken to New Delhi for deportation," he said.

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