Goni, after reaching his hometown, went straight to the main mosque and offered special prayers as thanksgiving. He then headed to the graveyard of his parents. There, he broke down at the grave of his mother, who died three years ago after anxiously waiting for him.
Bhaderwah: After spending 23 years in jail, Abdul Gani Goni, 57 was released on Tuesday. He was acquitted as the police of three states failed to establish the charges against him during trials. He was released 23 years later along with five others from Jaipur Central Jail.
The Rajasthan High Court acquitted them in the Samleti blast case. Observing that prosecution had failed to provide evidence of conspiracy and could not establish a link between them and the main accused, Dr Abdul Hameed, whose death sentence was upheld, the High Court ordered their acquittal. Abdul Gani Goni hailed from J&K’s Bhaderwah town and was associated with Allahwale, an organisation whose members preach about religion.
As reported by Indian Express, recalling the fateful day, Goni said, in 1996 he went to Banglawali masjid in Delhi, and then to Vishakhapatnam with a group of 10-15 people. After spending 40 days there, they boarded Delhi-bound Samta Express on May 30. At a station some people boarded the train and asked passengers their names. On learning that he was from Jammu and Kashmir, they took him into custody blindfolded.
Goni added that the next morning he learnt that he was at Shahi Bagh ATS in Ahmedabad. He revealed that even after realizing that he was innocent he was held by the police only to frame a Kashmiri for a blast that occurred in Delhi (Lajpat Nagar).
Goni was kept in 14 days’ police remand without being produced before a judge. Showing him to be a Pakistani national, they sent him to Sabarmati jail. He said, the officers knew he was innocent but had to detain him until they got the real culprits.
After he was acquitted in the Lajpat Nagar blast case in 2010, he was taken into custody by Rajasthan police to face trial in the Samleti blast case. In 2014, the trial court gave life term to five accused. They appealed in the Rajasthan High Court, which pronounced its order earlier this week.
Goni was 34 at the time of his arrest. He is a BSc graduate from Jammu University. During his prolonged trials that had ruined his life, he lost many of his close relatives including his mother, who died in hospital, as he could not get parole from Supreme Court.
Abdul Gani Goni, now 57-year-old, said he would not take any legal action for his wrongful confinement as it was his destiny. “Allah wanted me to teach the inmates inside the jail”, he said.
Braving heavy downpour, hundreds of people gathered in this township of Doda district on Saturday to welcome Abdul Ghani Goni on his return home after 23 years of imprisonment.
As reported by the New Indian Express, Goni, after reaching his hometown, went straight to the main mosque and offered special prayers as thanksgiving. He then headed to the graveyard of his parents. There, he broke down at the grave of his mother, who died three years ago after anxiously waiting for him.
Goni said he does not hold a grudge against anyone for wrongful confinement. PTI quoted him as saying ‘I firmly believe Allah will take care of everything. The only regret is I could not fulfil my duty as a son to my mother.”
He said he remained positive and never let negative thoughts overpower him and said he was sure that he would soon come out clean.