This Article is From Jul 06, 2015

Gujarat Police Stop Release of Book by Man Acquitted in Akshardham Attack Case

Mufti Abdul Qayyum was acquitted last year by the Supreme Court in the Akshardham terror attack case.


Mufti Abdul Qayyum, an accused in the 2002 Akshardham temple attack case who was acquitted by the Supreme Court last year, won't be able to tell his story.

Mr Qayyum had planned to release a book on the 11 years he spent behind the bars for a crime he never committed, at a seminar in Ahmedabad on Thursday. But a diktat from the police has put brakes on it.

The police told Mr Qayyum and the seminar organisers that neither the book should be released nor any direct reference be made to the Akshardham attack. Officials said this was being done to prevent a law and order problem.

The book -- Gyarah Saal Salakhon Ke Peeche -- provides a detailed account of what Mr Qayuum calls "a life branded as a terrorist without evidence". A section of it apparently deals with how officers of the Gujarat police had planted evidence to falsely implicate him in the case.

The organisers and Mr Qayyum agreed to avoid a face-off. But the pain was reflected in Mr Qayuum's address at the seminar.

"We don't want to just talk about Islam but also humanity and religion. We want the people's right to live to be safeguarded, so they be allowed to live in peace and harmony," he said.

While no direct reference was made to the Akdharsham case, some participants did voice their concern over the human rights abuses, particularly in anti-terror cases.

"We don't have any issues if terrorists are hanged, but what hurts us is when innocent people are falsely booked in terror cases," said Maulana Gulzar Azmi, head of the legal cell of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind.

The organisers are now planning to release the book outside Gujarat.

The police have so far refused to comment on the issue.

Mr Qayyum, a 40-year-old teacher in a madrasa, was arrested in 2003. The police had accused him of writing a letter that was recovered from the possession of two terrorists, who were killed in the attack.

A lower court in Gujarat sentenced him to death. But on May 17, 2014, the supreme Court acquitted him of all charges.