It has been almost 12 years since Mohammad Hussain Fazili was picked up from his Srinagar home by a special team of the Delhi Police. But even today, he vividly remembers each of the first 50 days he spent in police remand.
The 42-year-old returned home to Srinagar Saturday after almost 12 years in jail in connection with the 2005 Delhi serial blasts. Fazili and another accused, Mohd Rafiq Shah, were acquitted by a Delhi court last week.
Sitting at home, Fazili alleged the Delhi Police tried everything — from mental to physical torture — to extract a confession.
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“I still tremble recalling those days,” said Fazili in a hushed tone so others cannot hear him. “They forced feaces into our mouth and then shoved rotis and water so we would gulp it down.”
Senior Special Cell officers refused to comment on the allegations.
Fazili, who was a shawl weaver on the outskirts of Srinagar, alleged that the torture started even before the accused were taken to court for police remand. “As we arrived in Delhi, we were taken to the police station in Lodhi Colony,” he alleged. “I was asked to lie on a bench and my hands were tied underneath it. Two policemen stood on my legs and one walked over my abdomen. Another forced me to drink water mixed with detergent.”
Fazili said before they were taken to a judge that evening, policemen warned them against complaining. “They said, ‘Don’t dare open your mouth before judge sahib… If you do, you will face even worse’,” he alleged.
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He said police forced them to sign around 200 blank papers.
“They (the policemen) would tell us that they knew we are innocent. But they would tell us they have a hundred ways to implicate us in the case,” he alleged.
Fazili said their 50-day ordeal ended once they were shifted to Tihar jail. “In Tihar, they didn’t torture us,” he said. “But there was a fear of attack from criminals. They were very aggressive initially — they made me sweep about two kilometres of the floor. But later, as the case unfolded, their behaviour changed. The day I was acquitted, sweets were distributed.”