Pune: A sketch of a man inside the prison and ‘Abba’ written next to it was the first drawing made by my little son during a competition in school; my father died a year after my arrest due to shock and my mother became mentally unstable; my wife had to struggle to make ends meet - my life went upside down just because of a false charge by the ATS,” said Abdul Wahid Sheikh, who was acquitted in 2006 Mumbai train bombings case. Sheikh released his book ‘Begunah Quaidi’ (Innocent Prisoner) which is the story of the 12 persons who were convicted in the case.
The book release function was held at Savitribai Phule Sabhagrah at Ganj Peth on Sunday. Cultural group Kabir Kala Manch performed at the function.
The 12 others are Kamal Ansari, Tanveer Ansari, Muhammad Faisal Attaurehman Sheikh, Ehshitam Siddique, Muhammad Shafi, Sheikh Mohammad Ali Alam Sher Khan, Mohammad Ansari, Muzammil Attaurehman Sheikh, Suhail Mehmud Sheikh, Zameer Ahmad Lateefurehman Sheikh and Naveed Husain Khan.
Sheikh said, “I decided to write the book to tell the story of the 13 of us. We were arrested, police forced our relatives to give statements against us as witnesses, explosives were planted at our houses and we were given third-degree torture to confess what we did not do.”
“I started writing this book in Urdu in 2007 when I was lodged in Arthur Road Jail. But every time I wrote, the jail authorities used to tear up the pages. Jail Superintendent Swati Sathe tortured us like hell. We were tortured with techniques like water boarding in which we were hanged upside down with a cloth on our face and then water was thrown on our face. They used to inject Suryaprakash oil in our rectums. Our legs were forcibly stretched at 180 degrees,” added Sheikh.
Sheikh said, “ATS arrested me for providing shelter to Pakistanis. They forced a relative of mine to become a witness and give a false statement against me.”
About the book
- Sheikh, in his book, alleges he and 12 others were falsely implicated by Maharashtra ATS in train bombings which took place on July 11, 2006 in Mumbai.
- Sheikh was acquitted in 2015. Five were given death sentences and seven life imprisonment.
- “I was not the only one who was falsely implicated, the other 12 are also innocent. ATS has used the same procedure to convict everyone. Our relatives were told if they don’t testify against us, ATS will book them too in terrorism cases,” added Sheikh.