‘I Hope My Forced Silence Will Be Heard’
Mohammad Afzal’s [Unedited] Letter To His Lawyer Sushil Kumar, Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court
Respected Shri Sushil Kumar,
I am extremely thankful and feel very much obligated to you that you have taken up my case and decided to defend me. From the beginning of this case I was neglected and had never been given a chance to reveal the truth before media or in court. The designated court did not provided me the lawyer in spite of giving three applications. In the high court one human rights lawyer asked the court that Afzal had expressed his desire that he want to be killed by toxic injection rather by hanging which is absolutely false. I never told this to my lawyer. Since that lawyer was not of my own choice (or my family) but it was due to my helplessness and non-accessibility to proper lawyer. Being locked up in high security jail and without being in communication with that human rights lawyer I could not change him or to convey my objection regarding my death desire to High Court as I came to know this after High Court’s decision.
In the Parliament attack case I was entrapped by Special Task Force of Kashmir. Here in Delhi the designated court sentenced me to death on the basis of special police version which works in nexus with STF, and also came under the influence of mass media in which I was made to accept the crime under duress and threat by special police ACP. Rajbir Singh. That threat even get confirmed to designated court by T.V. interviewer (Shams TahirAaj-Tak).
When I was arrested in Srinagar bus stand I was taken to STF Headquarter from here the special police along with STF brought me to Delhi. In Srinagar at Parompora Police Station everything of my belongings was seized and then they beated me and threatened me of dire consequences regarding my wife and family if I reveal or disclose the reality before anybody. Even my younger brother Hilal Ahmad Guru he was taken into police custody without any warrant etc. and was kept there for 2-3 months. This was first told to me by ACP Rajbir Singh. Special police told me that if I will speak according to their wishes they will not harm my family members and also gave me false assurance that they will make my case weak so that after sometime I will get released.
The most important priority I gave to safety of my family. As I know from last seven years how the STF men kill, the Kashmiris, how they had made youth invisible and had disappeared them while killing them in custody. I am living and organic eye-witness to various tortures and custodial killings and I am myself the victim of STF terror and torture. Being an surrendered militant of JKLF I was constantly harassed, threatened and agonized by various security agencies like Army. BSF. and STF. But since STF. is unorganized, without being accountable a band and gang of renegades patronised by state government. They intrude every house, every family everywhere in Kashmir anytime day or night. If anybody is picked up by STF and his family came to know this, then family members only wait to get his dead body which they hope. But usually they never came to know his whereabouts. 6000 youths have disappeared. Under these circumstances and under this fearful environment persons like me are always ready to play any dirty game in the hands of STF. just for the survival. The people who are able to pay in terms of cash are not forced to do the dirty things the way I did as I was not able to pay. Even one of the policeman of the same police station of Parimpora named Akbar had extorted 5000 Rs. Long before attack and threatened me that he will charge me as selling duplicate medicines and surgical items of which I was doing business at Sopore, in 2000. He came here in designated court and became a witness against me. He was knowing me before parliament attack. In the court room he told me in Kashmiri that my family is o.k. indirectly it was a hidden threat which the designated court hardly could realise otherwise in court I would have questioned him but before court started recording his statement he told me this. Throughout the trial I remained mute and helpless spectator as witnesses, police and even judge they all became a single force against me. I remained a frustrate bewildered and confused between the security and safety of myself and my family. I protected and saved my family. That is how I am lying in death row.
(II) In 1997-98 I started a business of medicines and surgical instruments on commission basis as I could not get a govt job due to the reason of being an surrendered militant. Because surrendered militants were not given jobs. They were either to work as SPOs or STF or to join the renegades under the patronage of security forces or police. Everyday SPOs were get killed by militants. In these conditions I started my commission based business earning 4000Rs. – 5000Rs. per month. But since the police informers (SPOs) usually harass those surrendered militants who do not work with S.T.F. etc. From 98-2000 I usually used to pay 300Rs. sometimes 500 Rs. to local SPO so as to keep myself in business otherwise these SPO make us to present us before security agencies. Even one of the SPO one day told me that they too have to pay their bosses. As I was working hard in my business my business flourished. One day at 10 am I was on my two wheeler scooter that I had purchased just before two months. I was whisked away by STF men in bullet proof gypsy to Palhallan camp. There the D.S.P. Vinay Gupta tortured me, electrified me—put me in cold water – used petrol—chillies and other techniques. He told me that I possess weapons but at evening time one of his inspector Farooq told me that if I can pay 1000,000 Rs to him (D.S.P) I will be released or they will kill me. Then they took me to Humhama STF camp where D.S.P. Dravinder Singh also tortured me. One of his torture inspector as they called him Shanty Singh electrified me naked for 3 hours and made me drink water while giving electric shocks through telephone instrument. Ultimately I accepted to pay them 1000000 Rs. for which my family sold the gold of my wife. Even after this they could manage only 80000 Rs. Then they took the scooter too which was just 2-3 months old which I bought for 24000Rs. Thus after getting 1 lakh Rupees they let me free. But now I was a broken person. In the same Humhama STF camp there was one more victim named Tariq. He suggested me that I should always co-operate with STF otherwise they will always harass and will not let me to live normal—free life. This was a turning point of my life. I decided to live the way Tariq told me. Since from 1990-1996 I had studied in Delhi University I was also giving tuitions in different coaching centres and also home tuitions. This fact reached to the man named Altaf Hussain who is brother-in- law of S.S.P. Ashaq Hussain of Budgam. Since it was this Altaf Hussain who managed my family rather he became the broker between my family and D.S.P. Humhama Dravinder Singh. Altaf told me that I should teach his two children one on 12th , 2nd [second one] in 10th class as his children were not able to go outside for tuition due to militant threat. Thus I became very close to Altaf’s and Altaf also. One day Altaf took me to Dravinder Singh (D.S.P.). D.S. told me that I had to do a small job for him that has to took one man to delhi as I was well aware about Delhi and has to manage a rented house for him. Since I was not knowing the man but I suspected that this man is not Kashmiri as he did not speak in Kashmiri but I was helpless to do what Dravinder told me. I took him to Delhi. One day he told me that he want to purchase a car. Thus I went with him to Karol Bagh. He purchased the car. Then in Delhi he used to meet different persons and both of us he Mohammad and me used to get the different phone calls from Dravinder Singh. One day Mohammad told me that if he want to go back to Kashmir he can. He also gave me 35000 Rs. and told me that this gift is for you. 6 days or 8 days before I took a rented room at Indra Vihar for my family as I decided to live in Delhi with my family because I was not satisfied with my this life. I left the keys of rented house to my land lady and told her that I will be back after Eid festival on 14th Dec. after parliament attack about which there was a lot of tension. I contacted Tariq in Sgr. [Srinagar]. At evening he told me when I came back from Delhi. I replied just one hour before. Next morning when I was about to leave to Sopore from bus stand Sgr. police caught me and took me to Parampora police station . Tariq was there also with STF. They took 35000 Rs. from my pocket, beated me and directly took me STF Head Quarter. From there I was taken to Delhi. My eyes were blind folded. Here I found myself in special police torture cell.
In special cell custody I told them everything regarding Mohammad etc. but they told me that I Showkat his wife Navjot (Afshan) Geelani are the people behind parliament attack. They too threatened me regarding my family and one of the inspector told me that my younger brother Hilal Ahmad Guru is in STF custody. They can lift the other family members too if I don’t co-operate with them. They tried me and forced me to implicate Showkat his wife and Geelani but I did not yield. I told them this is not possible. Then they told me that I should not say anything about Geelani (be about his innocence). After some days I was presented before media handcuffed. There were NDTV, Aaj tak, Zee news, Sahara TV etc. Rajbeer Singh (A.C.P.) was also there. When one of the interviewer Shams tahir told me what is the role of Geelani in parliament attack, I just said that Geelani is innocent. This moment A.C.P. Rajbeer Singh got up from his moving chair he shouted at me and told me that he had already said me not to speak about Geelani in front of everybody (Media-personnel). Rajbeer Singh’s behaviour exposed my helplessness and media personnel atleast came to know that what Afzal is saying under threat or duress. Then Rajbir Singh (A.C.P.) requested T.V. personel that the question regarding Geelani should be washed away or not to be shown before public. At evening time Rajbir Singh told me that if I want to talk [to] my family. I replied in yes. Then I talked to my wife. After finishing my phone he told me if I want to see my wife & family alive I must cooperate [with] them at every step. They took me to various places in delhi. From where they showed that Mohammad had purchased different things. They took me to Kashmir from where we came back without doing anything. They made me to sign on atleast 200-300 blank pages.
I was never given an [a] chance in [the] designated court to tell the real story. The judge told me that I will be given full opportunity to speak at the end of case but at the end he even did not recorded my all statements neither the court gave me whatever even court recorded. If phone numbers recorded will be seen carefully the court would have come to know the phone numbers of STF.
Now I hope that the Supreme Court will consider my helplessness and the reality through which I had passed. STF made [me]an [a] scapegoat in all this criminal act which was designed and directed by STF and others which I don’t know. Special Police is definitely the part of this game because every time they forced me to remain silent. I hope my forced silence will be heard and justice will prevail. I once again pay heart felt thanks to your good self for defending my case. May truth prevail!
S/o Habibullah Guru
Ward No. 6 (High Security Ward)
Jail No. 1, Tihar
New Delhi 110064