“I Could not Find the Way to Home, I Do not Recognize the Streets,” Doda’s Goni After 25 Years Of Imprisonment

July 26

Mubashir Naik

“Who will return all these 25 years i have spent in jail despite being innocent?” Abdul Gani Goni who is now 57 years old asks while looking at the daughter of his sister. “When i was arrested, we were finalizing the dates for my sister’s wedding, when i am released, they are speaking of the wedding of my daughter’s wedding,” Goni says as tear roll down his cheeks.

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Abdul Gani Goni was arrested in 1996 claiming that he was involved in the Sawai Man Singh Stadium blast in Jaipur in 1996- but the trial only began in 2011.

ALSO READ: 1996 Samlate Blast Case- After 23 Years, Court Acquits Three Kashmir Residents- Says They are Innocent

Twelve persons were accused in the Samleti case, seven have been acquitted so far. While one, Engineer Farooq Ahmed Khan was acquitted in 2014, six were acquitted on Tuesday. However, the sixth person, Javed Khan, who is in Tihar Jail, is still an accused in the Lajpat Nagar blast case.

The High Court bench of Justice Sabina and Justice Goverdhan Bardar upheld the death sentence to Dr Abdul Hameed and life sentence to Pappu Salim, a former approver who turned hostile.

A resident of Pasri Mohallah in Baderwah area of Chenab Valley’s Doda District, Goni says that when he reached Pasri Mohalla, he could not recognize anything. “The streets looked new, i had to ask people for the address to my home, everything has changed in the last 25 years,” Goni said while speaking to The Kashmiriyat.

The Judicial process is so slow that Goni had to spend most of his youth in the Jail. “My entire life has been wasted inside the dark dungeons, while inside the jail, i have lost my Father, my mother, my uncles, i really am doubtful if there is anything i have returned to.” Goni said.

This time, in jail has been has been painful, i got the news of my father passing away, a month after he had passed away, Goni told The Kashmiriyat. “Here it looks so strange, the kids at home look at me like a stranger, Yes i have been acquitted, but who will bring back those years,” asks Goni.

Goni who ran a private school in Doda had went with the Tableeghi Jama’at when he was having tea at a Shop in Gujrat and tortured constantly for 40 days and to escape torture he had confessed the crime, he never committed. “The Family came to know of his arrest three months after his arrest, none of the people who accompanied Goni on Tableegh told us of the arrest,” one of his relative told The Kashmiriyat.

“It was tough for me to find the home, where i was born, the kids on the street gazed at me, i might always be a stranger to them, somebody whom they never saw, will the society, the Government accept us as innocent. Will they be able to return every second i have spent in the Jail?” Goni asked.

“Will they be able to return the prime of my youth? No they will never be able to return my mother, my father or two uncles to me” Goni said while speaking to The Kashmiriyat.

in Srinagar, Twenty three years after being released, another accused Ali Mohammed Bhat on Wednesday, reached his home in Kashmir’s Srinagar and rushed straight to the grave of his father who passed away the last month and hugged the grave of his father whom he “loved the most” among his family members.

The Scene was painful and a video of the same has went viral on Social networking sites including twitter. “We’ve lost relatives while we were inside. My father and many relatives have passed away. i have been acquitted, but who will bring back those years,”Ali told the media.