Lucknow: 92-year-old Habib Ahmed Khan, a homeopathic doctor based out of Rai Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, is all set to celebrate his first Ramzan at home after being jailed for 27 years at a Jaipur jail.
Habib Ahmed Khan was arrested on January 14, 1994, and booked under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act for five blasts on trains, which killed two and injured eight, on the first anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.
He was one of the 16 men upon whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed charges for ostensibly carried out to avenge the demolition. A confession was recorded and a life sentence was imposed, which was further upheld by the Supreme Court in 2016.
However, Khan denied the confession by saying that he was forcefully made to sign on blank papers.
Records show that Khan, who is lodged in jail in Jaipur, suffers from “ischemic heart disease (angina pectoris) with moderate to severe hypertension”, has lost most of his eyesight even after his eyes were operated upon in jail, and “needs an attendant for help” in moving around, Indian Express reported, quoting his wife Qaisar Jahan, back in 2016.
During the hearing of his interim relief parole, senior advocate Siddharth Dav and Advocate Mujahid Ahmed told the court that Khan was undergoing treatment at home and his condition was critical.
Not a permanent parole
Khan was granted interim relief by the Supreme Court of India on last Friday as his parole was extended till July. But, this is not a permanent parole. Efforts are being made, including filing petitions, for a permanent parole as Khan is no longer fit to be in jail.
Gulzar Azmi, head of Jamiat e Ulema Legal Aid Committee said that Dr Habib has lost his ability to walk, his eyesight has deteriorated and he is suffering from other ailments which his family is treating.
“Dr Habib has been released three times in the past. He was released on parole for 21 days but in view of his condition, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court to release him on permanent parole as, in fact, Dr Habib’s condition is no longer fit to stay in jail.” Azmi said.
Efforts by Maulana Syed Arshad Madani, the president of Jamiat Ulema Hind has been credited for the interim relief granted by the Supreme Court.
Jamiat Ulema said in a press release that Maulana Rabi Hasni Nadvi, President of the Muslim personal Law board had also requested Maulana Arshad Madanaj to seek release of Habib Khan on permanent parole.
According to The Cognate, the extension in parole means he will not have to go to Jaipur Jail or will have to surrender in Jaipur Jail till Tuesday when his parole was supposed to end.
Advocate Siddharth told the court that it is not the case that he should go to Jaipur jail and surrender, “therefore, the court should grant him relief on humanitarian grounds and extend his parole,” he said.