Activists from two groups have come forward to demand justice for a Kolkata resident, who has been convicted in the 7/11 Mumbai serial blasts case. Members of Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee of West Bengal have launched a movement, demanding justice for Mohammad Majid. Majid, a resident of Rajabazar, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in the 2006 case, and is currently lodged at a Maharashtra jail. The serial bombings on Mumbai local trains had killed 209 people.
“Majid had never visited Mumbai. He was earning through his small shoe business. Thousands of Muslim youths have been falsely charged in scores of terror cases,” claimed Partha Sarathi Ray, a member of the outfit, at a press meet in Kolkata. The outfit supports and provides legal aid to those who have been allegedly falsely implicated in cases.
Ray said that they are planning to request Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to intervene in the matter.
Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) has also extended their support in demanding justice for Majid. “We support their demand and will also support the movement. West Bengal is no different. Here 60-70 Muslims have been falsely charged under sections amounting to waging war or under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” said Ranjit Sur, APDR vice-president.
Majid’s wife, Farzana Yasmin, alleged that Maharashtra ATS had made her husband sign a confession statement. “The ATS had picked him up from his shop (in 2006) and they didn’t share anything with us. My daughter was then only 38 days old. The ATS tortured him to a point that he signed a confession statement. I am very sure that he is innocent. I want the West Bengal government to intervene and ensure that my husband is released. My daughter has grown up hearing that her father is a terrorist,” she told The Indian Express.
The judgement in the case was delivered in September 2015 in which 5 people were given death sentence and 7 people sentenced to life imprisonment. Abdul Wajid Sheikh, who was acquitted in 2015 after spending 9 years in jail in the same case, claimed that he never met Majid before he was arrested. “I have been acquitted because they (ATS) failed to prove the allegations against me. I am sure all the 12 accused have been falsely implicated by the ATS. Over the last 20 years, more than 800 Muslim youths have been falsely implicated in terror cases and jailed,” he claimed.