Acquitted by court, media trial still continues

Despite being acquitted from court, media trial of a former accused force him to go to court against media houses.

By M. Reyaz,,

Support TwoCircles

New Delhi: Frustrated with repeated media trials Kanpur based Syed Wasif Haider has gone to court against three Hindi dailies.

Still being made to suffer: Syed Wasif Haider.

40 year old Haider was in jail for over eight years in several cases from August 4, 2001 to August 12, 2009 when he was finally acquitted from all cases. Haider was one of the four persons who accompanied CPIM Secretary Prakash Karat to meet the President against specific targeting and persecution of scores of Muslim youth in terrorism related cases and also submitted memorandum demanding compensation and ‘justice.’

However, the ‘media-trial’ against him continues he alleges. Speaking to TCN in Delhi Haider said, “My media-trial continues even after I have been acquitted from the court… it seems media in India has become bigger than judiciary.”

Haider has accused the media of linking him in cases without any possible evidence even after his acquittal. A grieving Haider accuses the media of using the word Aatanki or terrorist before his name even after acquittals in all cases, where persecution was not able to establish a single case against him or present any credible evidence.

Haider clarifies that even in cases he was only charged under IPC for murder, rioting, etc. and there was no specific terror charge against him. Still he is labeled a “terrorist for belonging to a particular community,” he alleges.

For example, On December 9, 2010 a news item in Dainik Jagran on a terror attack speculated on the possibility of Kanpur connection in the attack, and mentioned Haider’s name along with some others as ‘terrorist.’ The article further mentioned that the police are investigating and keeping an eye on people who have charged in terror cases earlier, but are now free. It was repeated in a similar story on December 11, two days later.

Haider has filed a case against Dainik Jagran in the Allahabad High Court. Another case is pending in a court of special judicial magistrate against Amar Ujala and Dainik Hindustan.

He claims that no police ever called or interrogated him once he was acquitted and hence there was no basis of his name being connected in other cases.

Even after his acquittals from all cases Haider is not able to lead a ‘normal life’ or find a job since people are afraid to meet or even talk to him because such articles keep cropping reminding about his arrest and scaring them, he alleges.

Aggrieved Haider has now decided to fight. “My struggle is against biased media trial,” he told TCN. “It seems that certain people in media and police want to continue witch hunt against educated Muslims,” he alleges.

Wasif Haider is also mulling over filing a case against all those officers who “fabricated evidences to falsely accuse” him. He wants that state should formulate stringent laws to punish those officers involved in fabricating and falsely accusing ‘innocent’ civilians or for communal witch-hunting.

He also wants that those who have been acquitted should be suitably compensated and given another opportunity to lead a normal life.

Haider, the only son of his parents, is married with four daughters. At the time of his arrest, he was working as sales manager in a multi-national company.

Having, however, decided to fight for himself and for all those suffering against ‘brutal’ media trial, Haider wants the civil rights advocates and members of the ‘community’ to come forward and support him in his struggle for justice.

Through TCN he wanted to appeal to “all intellectuals and community members to come forward to strengthen his struggle for the community and humanity.”