Jailed Pakistani walks free after 14 years


GUWAHATI, Dec 3 – A Pakistani lodged in the Guwahati Central jail for the last 14 years after being arrested as a suspected ISI agent was released Monday and is all set to return home later this week.

Syed Fasiullah Hussayni was taken to New Delhi, from where he would be deported to Pakistan.

“We received instruction from the Ministry of Home Affairs last week and prepared for Fasiullah’s deportation. He (Fasiullah) would be deported through the India-Pakistan border at Wagah Dec 6,” said Assam Home Secretary G.D. Tripathy Tuesday.

The release of Fasiullah, however, came six months after the Gauhati High Court upheld a session court’s verdict to acquit him in 2008.

Fasiullah, 53, along with three others – Javed Wakar (another Pakistani), Moulana Hafiz (from Jammu and Kashmir) and Qari Salim Ahmed (from Uttar Pradesh) – were arrested by Assam police from Guwahati Aug 7, 1999, for allegedly “moving about in a suspicious manner”.

The Assam police later arrested six others in connection with a case registered under Sections 120-B/121A, 122, 153-A and 34 IPC and Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Kamrup district court and sessions judge had acquitted Fasiullah and eight others in June 2008 after the prosecution failed to substantiate the charges of carrying out anti-India activities.

The court, however, sentenced Fasiullah to a five-year term in 2008 after he was proved guilty of illegally entering India.

Although the Assam police had challenged the session court judgment in the Gauhati High court, the high court rejected the petition by the Assam police and upheld the acquittal order May 17 this year.

“We are also not satisfied that the prosecution has been able prove the link or the nexus of the accused respondents with the ISI whose alleged aim is to destabilise the Indian society and overthrow the government by waging war. We are fully satisfied that the prosecution miserably failed to establish the charges the charges against the accused-respondent under sections 120 (B)/ 121/ 121 (A)/ 153 (A) 34 IPC beyond all shades of reasonable doubt as required in the criminal trial,” said the high court while upholding the acquittal in May this year.

The Pakistani national was, however, not released even though the high court had asked the Kamrup district administration and the government to take necessary step for his deportation within 30 days.

“We lodged a complaint petition in the court of Kamrup chief judicial magistrate and the court issued a similar order for deportation. But the district administration and the Assam government officials said the process was delayed due to official formalities,” said Advocate Rafique Islam, the counsel for Fasiullah.

Advocate Rafique Islam said this forced him to file a habeas corpus petition in the high court complaining against Fasiullah’s illegal detention.

“While hearing the habeas corpus petition Nov 18 this year, the high court asked the counsel of the solicitor general of India why the process of his deportation was being delayed. The respondent had sought three weeks’ time to respond and he was released from jail Monday and taken to New Delhi for deportation,” he said. IANS


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