“My name is Nisar and I am a dead man walking.”
These lines can make any person ponder trying to figure out the amount of pain in one’s life when that person considers himself as a soul which has no objective, but is still wandering; a man who is dead, but still living.
Rewinding back 23 years, Nisar-ud-din who was a pharmaceutical student was convicted for five blasts in trains on the first anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition that killed two passengers and injured 11 passengers. Then a student, Nisar was tracked and was arrested from Gulbarga in Karnataka.
His brother, Zaheer was convicted too and was arrested. The police arrested Nisar and kept him behind in prison for 23 years but couldn’t gather evidence against him. How heart wrenching it must be to unwillingly stay away from family, missing the important things in life, giving up youth for no good reason and most importantly losing faith in the essence of life?
On 15th of January, 1994 Nisar was arrested from Karnataka and transferred to Hyderabad by the Police in such a manner, that even the Karnataka Police had no idea until it was Nisar’s family members who knocked the court doors for justice. His father led his fight for justice and somewhere down the line in 2006, his father passed away.
Nisar’s brother, Zaheer was released from jail because of medical reasons as he was suffering from lung cancer. With lung cancer on one end, justice for his brother added up as the second fight of his life.
Nisar said that he was 20 years old when he was thrown behind bars. Now, he is 43 years old. His younger sister was 12 then, now she is married and has a daughter who is 12 years old. He has a soul sister too, now she has grown to become a grandmother. He also said that it is like a generation has passed in front of him.
Nisar was first arrested by the Police which believed him to be involved in the conspired blasts by some Muslim group and brought to Hyderabad. Nisar and his brother were later associated to other blasts as well and thus, the extension of their stay in jail continued. The case was handed over to the CBI but it was later dismissed by them freeing them of the imposed charges.
Nisar has also opened up about the preparation of a statement which was intended for someone else but was then forced on Nisar to be signed stating his involvement in the blasts that took place. That statement which didn’t even have his sign on it led to an extra sentencing because in 2007 they were freed by the Hyderabad Trial Court but then Nisar and 15 other convicted were then given life imprisonment by Ajmer’s TADA Court.
Supreme Court Justice F Mohammad Ibrahim Kaifullah and Justice Uday Umesh looked into the statements of the 4 convicts and came up with the decision that based on such weak evidence, all sorts of punishments and sentences aren’t justified for these cases.
It took 12 years for the Ajmer TADA Court to take back their case as they were not able to come up with some concrete proof against the accused and it is only now that Nisar-ud-din has been released and is free because the whole span of 23 years was based on wrong carriage of justice.
Doesn’t it make you stop and think for a moment, that how unreasonable it is for someone to live behind bars for some conviction he wasn’t even guilty for? People who are 20 years old, are most probably studying, figuring out what they want to achieve in life, striving to work to earn their livelihood in the starting days of their responsibilities while, this man was picked up and thrown against the jail walls for a reason which was not proved even after 23 years at the cost of his education, career and youth.
Don’t you think it is pretty ironical that the process of justice which should benefit the society gets irresponsible and unreasonable for no good reason?
This was just Nisar’s part of the story. There might be several others who must be paying this price, several who might have even passed away during this process and you never know, today we know Nisar, tomorrow something like this can happen to any person irrespective of any background. Isn’t it helplessly shocking?
Nisar-ud-Din’s story is a living example of how things can go wrong for a person, a son, a brother and a family and also departs us with a feeling of gratefulness which should be absorbed by us and thank every moment of our imperfect yet stable lives.