Mon Feb 10, 2014


JAIPUR: These days, Rashid Hussain, now the state president of the Welfare Party of India, is busy meeting party leaders, deciding candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, in Rajasthan assembly polls, his party had fielded three candidates.

Only five years ago, Hussain was a senior network engineer with Infosys. But, he was picked up by a team of special operations group (SOG) right after a serial blast rocked Jaipur on May 13, 2008.

“For nine days, I was detained illegally and questioned for something I had never done. Failing to gather evidence against me they released me, but only after making me sign a blank paper, along with a letter which stated that I had been in their custody for only 24-hours and that I will not speak to the media,” recounts Rashid.

But his harrowing tale doesn’t end here. For once he was released, he had to face the challenge of starting his life afresh. Recounting those difficult days, he narrates, “On being released, I called up my company Infosys, seeking to resume work. But, I was asked to rest. They called me before a panel and grilled me and tried to insist that I had furnished the wrong information regarding my work experience. It was then that I understood that they would terminate by services.”

When he received a termination letter from his company citing the ‘experience’ issue as the reason, he decided to fight back. A prolonged batte in court the company reached an out of court settlement with him. Shruti Nambiar, the Public Relations officer of Infosys on being asked the same, confirmed, ‘Infosys BPO entered into an amicable settlement with respect to the litigation with Mr. Rashid Hussain pending before the Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan. We cannot offer any further comments on this matter as directed by the court.’


This decision marked the beginning of a new journey, where heHussain made up his mind to fight against injustice. He got a teaching job in the Gyan Vihar University and joined a political party, which appointed him as the state president.

Local leaders point out that at least forty such persons were arrested for terror blasts, including two doctors pursuing their post graduation from Jaipur’s SMS Hospital. They were released later but not before the media had branded all of them as the “Doctors of Death.”

Dr. Taufique, a Unani practitioner was not that lucky to be let off post interrogation. He along with his father Dr. Ishaque was put behind bars. Facing the same fate was 33-year-old Dr. Amanullah Jamali, a government doctor. Along with father-son duo, twelve others were arrested but as there was no evidence against them, all fourteen were acquitted finally in December, 2011.

“We supported innocent victims in every possible way – right from getting them released from illegal detention to getting them acquitted and resuming their normal life.” said PUCL national secretary, Kavita Srivastava whose organisation had done a great deal in securing these releases.

Interestingly, two of the police officers, who were part of the SOG are now behind bars for an alleged fake encounter case.

Legal activist Shahid Azmi, on whose life Bollywood biopic Shahid had been made, had helped in the acquittal of 17 boys wrongly framed for terrorism.

Lauding this change of mindset, where youths are resorting to democratic ways of getting justice, social scientist Dr. Rajiv Gupta said, “It is a bright sign for Indian democracy. Educated Muslim youth have strong middle class cultural values, education of real sense which keeps their faith alive in the democratic system and commitment towards the Indian constitution. So when charged on wrong grounds, their core values make them use that experience to save others.”

Amitabh Gupta, former Director General of Police (DGP) of Rajasthan feels that the false implication of Muslim youths varies from state to state. “There is not much politicization of police in Rajasthan, but yes it is happening in several other states. But at the same time one needs to understand that it is also very difficult for an investigative officer (IO) to get evidence in terror cases,” he said.

The problem is so grim in India that Union Home Minister wrote to all state governments directing that innocent Muslims should not be arrested on false terror charges, and that all such cases should be transferred to fast track courts.

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