Ahmedabad: After spending 11 years of his life in prison for a crime he never committed, Mufti Abdul Qayyum, who was acquitted by the Supreme Court in the Akshardham terror attack case, has written a 200-page book recounting the pain of injustice inflicted on him by the state police and other investigating agencies.
In his book, titled ‘Gyarah Saal Salakhon Ke Peeche (11 years behind bars),’ the Mufti provides a detailed account of what he calls is a life branded as a terrorist without evidence. “I have mentioned in the book why I was booked by the Gujarat police in the Akshardham attack case. I have described the kinds of torture I was subjected to by the investigating agencies to make me sign false confessional statements,” said Mufti.
“This book is not just for the Muslims, it is for the most oppressed class of the country. If through my book, even one person is spared from state sponsored excesses then I will be happy that I have achieved something.”
Mufti Qayyum was arrested by former IPS officer D G Vanzara who was himself arrested later for involvement in a number of fake police encounters.
He was 29 at the time of arrest in 2003 – a year after the attack on the Akshardham temple. The police had accused him of writing a letter that was recovered from the possession of two alleged terrorists, who were killed in the attack.
A lower court in Gujarat later convicted him and two others, sentencing them to death. But on May 17 last year, the top court acquitted him of all the charges.
Since his release, the 40-year old Madrassa teacher has been trying to piece together his fragmented life. At the time of his arrest, 12 years ago, his now grown up son was barely ten months old. His wife Sujiya, not only struggled to bring up their children, but also had to live with the stigma of being called a ‘terrorist’s wife.’
“As my son grew older, his only constant question was about his father. Every day before going to school he would always ask; when will father come home. Every moment was filled with pain,” says Mr Qayyum’s wife.
The book, for Mr Qayyum, is a sad testimony of all that transpired in his life behind jail. Ironically, for him writing the book was easy, but he hasn’t been able to gather courage to read it again.