‘Our writings will become our history’: Er Farooq to write book on his 18 years in Indian jails

Our writings will become our history

Srinagar: A Kashmiri engineer, who was recently released after 18 years of imprisonment on unproven charges of triggering bomb blasts in New Delhi and Jaipur, is all set to write a book starting from his arrest to acquittal.
“The book I’m planning to write will carry whatever I have gone through. I’ll write about my arrest and subsequent torture, lengthy court procedures, and the harsh life inside the Indian jails.
“It will begin with the historical background of Kashmir conflict, the armed insurgency followed by the suppression of the Indian state,” Farooq Ahmad Khan, a mechanical engineer, who was acquitted by the Additional District Court, Bandhikui, Jaipur, on unproven charges of bombing a Bikaner-bound bus that left 14 people dead and many wounded in 1996, told Kashmir Reader on Sunday.
A resident of Janglat Mandi, Anantnag, Farooq was arrested by the infamous Special Task Force of police on May 23, 1996. He was instantly shifted to Delhi’s Tihar jail on the charges of triggering bomb blasts in New Delhi and Jaipur. A Delhi court acquitted him of the charges after 14-year trial in 2010, while the Jaipur court acquitted him last month.
Farooq said he will also write about his interactions with other Kashmiri prisoners, including Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged and secretly buried inside the Tihar jail on February 9, 2013.
“Writing about brother Afzal will be the most difficult task. Describing his personality in words is a herculean task. However, I will try my best to present his picture the way he was in the prison with us,” he added.
“The book will be a tribute to the martyrs and to those men and women, who were imprisoned or are facing imprisonment for raising voice against the Indian oppression,” he said.
Apart from Afzal, Farooq said, the memoir will also carry the contents of the first and the last letter he received from his daughter during his initial years in the Tihar jail. He said the book will contain separate chapters of arrests, interrogation, courts and personal loss.
“The letter by my daughter, who was then a first standard student, is a prized possession. It moved and inspired me in the hardest times. That’s the only letter I have been able to preserve,” he said.
Farooq said the book will also carry ‘gory details’ of mistreatment to the Kashmiri prisoners at the hands of jail officials and hardcore criminals. He said he has already made some notes in the prison which will help him to come out with the book.
“18 year time is not too little. I want to recollect and revisit every moment spent behind the bars. I want to pen down all the terrible experiences in jail and outside,” he said.
Farooq said the book might be in English language which can be translated into Urdu in the later stage.
“This book will throw light at the suffering of every Kashmiri prisoner. It will virtually take readers to jails, courts and interrogation centres. It will narrate the tales of horror inside the prisons,” he said.
“Our writings will become our history. We need to write every atrocity inflicted by the oppressor on peaceful Kashmiris for demanding their birth right of freedom,” he added.