Srinagar: The Rajasthan High Court recently acquitted three Srinagar residents from terror charges even as they were earlier acquitted by courts in Delhi and Gujarat in separate cases relating to terror.

Latief Ahmad, who spent almost 23 years in prison, narrated how he was picked up from Kathmandu in connection with the Lajpat Nagar bomb blast case of May 1995. “There was a lot of delay in the courts and we were not getting the required legal help, otherwise we would have been free much earlier. Who will give me back the years I had spent in different jails for no crime?” Latief Ahmad told The Sunday Guardian.  Similarly, Mirza Nisar and Mehmood Ali Bhat also spoke about their ordeal and blamed the system for their predicament. All of them were accused in terror-related cases, especially in the Lajpat Nagar bomb blast case. Among the accused was Abdul Gani of Bhaderwah area of Jammu. He was also set free after 23 years by the Rajasthan High Court. His family members said that they had to spend of lot of money on lawyers and had to arrange money to go to the courts from Delhi to Gujarat to Rajasthan. The released Srinagar residents told media that they would face a lot of harassment and beating at the hands of other jail inmates whenever any violent incident in Kashmir took place. “We were just 17-year-old when the special cell arrested us in Nepal. We were not involved, but we spent our entire youth trying to prove our innocence,” both Mirza Nisar and Latief Ahmad said. Both of them came to know from their lawyer that they have been shown in the official records to have been arrested from Uttar Pradesh.

Mehmood Ali Bhat of the same Rainawari locality was slapped with another case for his involvement in another bomb attack on a transport bus in Samleti village in Rajasthan. He had to spend seven years in jail for this case. All of them claimed that they were beaten up ruthlessly by the jail inmates after the Pulwama attack and accused the jail staff of encouraging the attacks on them.

Latief Ahmad’s mother Noor Jahan said that her son was beaten up in jail by the fellow inmates many times and regretted that no Kashmiri leader or civil society member helped him.

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