Acquitted after spending 11 years behind bars for the 2008 attack on a CRPF camp in Rampur, Mohammad Kausar and Gulab Khan say they are not sure if the court order would prove enough to rid them of “terrorist” tag.
Before they were arrested, Kausar (48) ran an electronics shop near his house in Kunda area of Pratapgarh while Khan (41) owned a welding shop at Baheri locality in Bareilly. With their families having sold their shops as well as spent their savings fighting their case, the two said it wouldn’t be easy for them to pick up the pieces.
On Saturday, a Rampur local court awarded death sentence to four accused, including two Pakistani nationals, for the 2008 attack, in which seven CRPF jawans and a rickshaw-puller were killed. A fifth accused was sentenced to life. Khan and Kausar, who were accused of hiding weapons used in the crime at their residences before the attack, were acquitted for want of evidence.
Kausar was arrested on February 9, more than a month after the attack, from his shop in Pratapgarh, 486 km from Rampur. “A senior police officer asked me two-three questions and then put me in a room. Two days later, I was produced before a court, which sent me to jail. In the two-minute interaction with a senior police officer, I maintained I was innocent,” Kausar told The Indian Express over the phone.
Kausar, who studied upto Class 9, said he worked for 10 years at an…