Framed As A Terrorist

By Mohammad Aamir Khan

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I was acquitted in five more cases between April and July 2001. The acquittals gave me hope that I would be released soon and could look after Abbu and Ammi who seemed to be ageing very fast because of the trauma of seeing their son in jail. Abbu said to get justice one had to have hands made of gold (because it was so expensive) and feet made of iron (because there was so much running around to do.) The judge was also sympathetic and the atmosphere in the court was beginning to feel less harrowing. But the trial took a toll on me, especially if the witnesses looked at me with questions in their eyes as if asking: ‘Did you plant the bomb?’ I still remember a young woman, Veena, who came into the court limping. She had got injured in the bomb blasts in the Rani Bagh market on 18 October 1997. In that case the prosecution produced fifty-eight witnesses. Kumari Veena was Prosecution Witness No. 4. When she was asked to identify me, she slowly turned to look towards me and our eyes met. Mine were full of fear and hers held a question in them. Her eyes seemed to be asking me whether I had done the act. And I wanted to shout out loud and clear that I was innocent and that I had been framed. She looked at me and then turned to the judge and said no, she had never seen me before. I could not sleep that night. The faces of the victims of the blasts kept floating by and I decided that when I was released I would seek them out and tell them the truth about how the police had kidnapped me and tortured me.

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