Home Indian Muslim Cleared of terror taint, tortured Aftab returns home

Cleared of terror taint, tortured Aftab returns home


Kolkata : Aftab Alam Ansari, who had to spend over 20 days in a Lucknow jail after being wrongly arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police on suspicion of being involved in the serial blasts in that state, returned to his home here Saturday.

Aftab, a 26-year-old employee of the Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation (CESC), was arrested Dec 29 from his home in Baranagar, north Kolkata, by officials of the state Criminal Investigation Department and the Uttar Pradesh police’s special task force on charges of ferrying explosives for the court blasts in Uttar Pradesh.

The police had claimed that Aftab had “single-handedly” carted the entire cache of explosives used in the November serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh courts that killed 15 people.

After subjecting Aftab to third-degree torture and intense grilling, police realised their mistake and appealed to an Uttar Pradesh court for his release Tuesday. He finally walked free Friday.

“We have found that his arrest was a case of mistaken identity,” Brij Lal, the additional director-general of Uttar Pradesh police, later said.

“I was whipped with a belt by interrogators until I screamed. I was also slapped so hard that I reeled under the impact,” a teary-eyed Aftab recalled.

His lawyers said they are planning to move court either in Uttar Pradesh or West Bengal for damages.

As the police department falls under the home ministry, the chief and home secretaries of the two states could also be made parties to the case.