By Muslim Mirror Staff
New Delhi :Having spent 12 long years in prison printing-press worker, Faheem Ansari walked out of Bareilly Central Jail last week. Ansari was arrested in connection to drawing maps aiding the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai, and later, the 2007 CRPF camp attack at Rampur.
Ansari had also got a clean chit from Hemant Karkare, the then ATS chief of Maharashtra who died during 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
He has one big regret — the two men he wanted to meet most after his release are no longer alive.
“The two men that I wanted to meet were lawyer Shahid Azmi who defended me in the 26/11 case and ATS Chief Hemant Karkare who had told officials that I was innocent. Sadly, both have fallen prey to the bullets of terrorists,” Ansari said while sitting in the Mumbai office of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Maharashtra, hours after he reached the city.
Ansari, who has nine older siblings, was picked up by the Mumbai police when he was on vacation from his job in Dubai and his daughter was only three years old. His father passed away while he was still in jail and his lawyer Shahid Azmi was shot dead in 2010. According to Ansari, now in his late 40s, his brother was also made a victim as he was refused jobs due to his arrest.
Ansari was subsequently charged with holding a fake Pakistani passport, fake Indian driving licences, some maps of Mumbai and a pistol. A Rampur court last week found Ansari guilty of holding fake documents but did not find evidence against him on the charge of waging war against the State. He was subsequently sentenced to a 10-year-term in jail but he walked out free Wednesday since he had already spent 11 years in prison.
“The UP police had picked me up from Lucknow when I had gone to shop for some dresses for my friends in Dubai. A week later, they said I was arrested from Rampur. I had no inkling why I was arrested,” Ansari said.