Echoes of Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts: Three men united by 'nightmares'

A realtor, a salesman and a doctor recount experiences after being ‘wrongly imprisoned’ on suspicion of being involved in triggering bomb blasts in the city in 2007.

Published: 15th April 2018 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2018 10:43 AM   |  A+A-

Echoes of Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts: Three men united by 'nightmares'

Mohammed Abdul Kareem and Ibrahim Ali Junai, who were 'wrongly arrested' by the Andhra Pradesh police after a series of bomb blasts in 2007. (EPS | Vinay Madupu)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Abdul Wajid, now in his 30s, was in his embroidery shop going about his daily chores when around 30-40 policemen in mufti reportedly cordoned off the neighbourhood and took him into custody. However, what followed for the next few days changed not only his life but several others who were allegedly arrested in a similar fashion.

Wajid and others were allegedly tortured in farmhouses for days altogether and “wrongly imprisoned” on suspicion of perpetrating the blasts in Mecca Masjid, Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat, and were later acquitted. On Monday, an NIA court, will deliver the judgment in connection to the Mecca Masjid blast case.

They were later released after the court pointed out the irregularities in the arrests and the lack of evidence. Though they were paid a meagre compensation by the then AP government and given a “good conduct” certificate for their “misfortune”, they say their lives have never been the same.

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Till today, 11 years after the bad experience, I am still not over what I endured. It takes a little while to realise that I am in my home,” claimed Wajid, who now works as a realtor.

An elderly woman walks with a child at the Mecca Masjid during
a curfew imposed after communal rioting, in Hyderabad. AP

Another youngster, Mohammad Abdul Kareem, too, was allegedly picked up by in a similar manner. “During the Mecca Masjid blast and the subsequent police firing, I helped in the rescue operations. It was probably during that time I came under the scanner of the police. In the following days, I felt that the police were following me. And finally days after the subsequent bomb blasts, the police nabbed me after I completed my morning prayers (fazr),” claimed Kareem,who then used to work as a salesman.

“Though it has been eleven years since the arrests and though the court gave me a clean chit and said that I am not a terrorist, some people still don’t want to be seen with me. A few relatives still don’t talk to me,” Kareem claimed.

READ | Aseemanand gets bail in Mecca Masjid case

Similarly, Dr Ibrahim Ali Junaid was returning from a medical seminar in Delhi when the police reportedly apprehended him at the railway station without citing any reason. However for Junaid, on being picked up on suspicion, professional life also took a hit.  

“Even after my release, the police always kept an eye on me. This was the reason why I lost my job,” Junaid claimed. It was then that he says he decided to open a clinic in his neighbourhood Akbarbagh. Although that seems to be going on well for him, the police still visited him as recently as  2016, asking about his whereabouts, he claimed.

For Wajid, Junaid and Kareem, moving on in life, even after 11 years, has been tough. “I still don’t have the courage to tell my mother and wife what I endured. They got to know whatever happened through the media,” said Kareem.

“If I share my ordeal with someone else, they stop talking to me thinking that the same thing might happen to them as well,” he added.

The three, who didn’t know each other before getting arrested, only have each other to have a conversation or to share their feelings regarding the subject.

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