By MOHD MAJID MALIK
BHADERWAH: A 75 year old lady breathed her last in Baderwah on Thursday after waiting for twenty long years to see her son, who has been languishing in a Rajasthan jail, for the last time.
Jaana Begum had been waiting for the release and return of her son Abdul Ganai Goni, who was arrested in Gujrat in 1996 on terror charges. However her wait ended with her death today.
Goni, a private school teacher, had gone to Gujarat for forty days as a preacher to spread the message of Islam and brotherhood. Days before, he was to return to his native place, Goni went out of his residence in Gujrat to have a cup of tea where some fellow Kashmiris were also present. At that very moment, a team of Gujarat police reached the spot and arrested all of them on suspicion of being militants.
Goni, dubbed a Pakistani national by the Gujrat police, was locked in a dark room for more than seven months while her mother Jaana Begum was eagerly waiting to see her son once again before she leaves this world. Her wait however never ended as Goni’s detention too kept on stretching.
Goni was released twice by the Gujarat and Delhi court after being proven innocent. But he is still languishing in a Rajasthan jail and the Goni family has been fighting for his release for last 20 years now.
“We saw him on a news channel that ran the news that my brother was a Pak national and was arrested from Ahmedabad,” Walayat Goni – elder brother of the jailed teacher recalled with tears rolling down his cheeks.
The family went to Gujarat very next day countering the Gujarat police for filling a false case. Verification from Jammu and Kashmir Police authenticated that the arrested person was a resident of J&K state. Goni was released after this. However, the ordeal for family was far from over because as soon as he was released from the Gujarat High Court, a team of Delhi police team reached there, picked him and lodged him in Tihar Jail. Gani remained in Tihar Jail for next 12 long years.
The charges of militancy links leveled against him were proven false in the court and he was set free in 2003. Before he could walk free, Police once again arrested him outside the Tihar Jail. This time it was Rajasthan police, who too also leveled serious but fake charges against Goni. Till date he is lodged in Rajasthan jail.
After the arrest of Goni in Gujarat in 1996, his father died of cardiac arrest. And twenty years later, his mother breathed her last today. The Goni family regrets that no one from either the state government or any political party or religious group came to their family’s help.