Faheem Ansari not the only one in false conviction list

Representative image. (Getty images)

In 2008, a printing-press worker, Faheem Ansari, was arrested in connection to drawing maps aiding the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, and later, the 2007 CRPF camp attack at Rampur. Despite getting a clean chit from Hemant Karkare, the then ATS chief of Maharashtra and 26/11 martyr, Ansari spent 12 long years in prison before walking out of Bareilly Central Jail last week.

Ansari, who has nine older siblings, was picked up by the Mumbai police when he was on vacation from his job in Dubai and his daughter was only three years old. His father passed away while he was still in jail and his lawyer Shahid Azmi was shot dead in 2010. According to Ansari, now in his late 40s, his brother was also made a victim as he was refused jobs due to his arrest.

He was recently convicted of forgery for possessing a fake Pakistani passport and given a prison term of 10 years, but since he already spent more than a decade in jail for a crime he did not commit, he is free after paying a fine of Rs 95,000.

Ansari's is not the only case of a false conviction in India that lead to innocent people serving harsh jail-terms.

Nambi Narayan

The story of former ISRO scientist and Padma Bhushan winner Nambi Narayan is a classic case of denied justice. 
Narayan and ISRO deputy director, D Sasikumaran,  was charged with 'espionage' in 1994 for allegedly providing classified information to Russia and Pakistan about India's cryogenic engine programme, and spend 48 days in prison where he endured continuous torture. He was accused of selling crucial defence secrets to alleged Maldivan spies, Mariam Rasheeda and Fauzia Hassan, for 'millions'. 

The charges against him were dismissed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 1996, and the Supreme Court in 1998. He was awarded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh by the Supreme Court much later in 2018.

In 2012, The Hindu had reported that the Kerala government had dropped all charges against the police officials responsible for making the false case against the 76-year-old since '15 years had passed'.

Mohammad Aamir Khan

An 18-year-old Khan was picked up by non-uniform police officials from Old Delhi in 1988 and subject to unimaginable horrors over a period of 14 years.
He lost his 20s to torture, abuse, and even electric shocks, after which he was forced to sign blank papers that were used to charge him in 19 cases that included murder and terrorism.
Much like Faheem Ansari, Khan too lost his father while he was still in prison. He was finally acquitted from all cases and freed in 2012, but by that time he had already lost his youth. 
After his release, he married his childhood friend, Alia, who had waited 14 long years for his release. He later co-wrote a book with Nandita Haksar on his struggles, titled 'Framed as a Terrorist: My 14-year Struggle to Prove My Innocence'.

Mohammad Ali Bhat, Lateef Ahmad Waza and Mirza Nissar Hussain

The three youths were arrested and charged for the Lajpat Nagar blast in 1996 where 13 were killed and several injured. Additionally, they were also accused by Rajasthan Police of terrorism for a state roadways bus bombing.

The trio spent 23 long years in prison before their acquittal by the Rajasthan High Court in 2014, in spite of being declared 'innocent' by the Delhi High Court in 2012. They were arrested in Kathmandu, Nepal while selling Kashmiri handicrafts.

Bhat lost both his parents while he was incarcerated, while Waza lost his father. Hussain was only 17 at the time he was arrested and thrown in jail.

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