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Acquitted of Terror Charges, ‘Begunah Qaidi’ Turns Author

This is a guidebook for all the youngsters who have faced torture and illegal detainment from the police.

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Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

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Abdul Wahid Sheikh was a teacher arrested for alleged involvement in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts. In 2015, he was given a clean chit by Maharashtra Court of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

In 2006, when the Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) had arrested us, we were shocked by the fact that in such a massive terrorist attack, 13 Muslim youths were arrested without evidence and then the entire police force is trying to get us convicted.
Abdul Wahid Sheikh, Author and Lawyer

Sheikh recalls how he and 12 others with him were harassed and forced to sign a false confession. He was incarcerated for nine years during which he wrote a book called Begunah Qaidi which translates to “an innocent prisoner.”

The book speaks about how the ATS trouble the youth and falsely implicate them. It’s about how we were tortured, how a false witness was presented against us and we were made to give false confessions. The jail superintendent (name withheld) did not allow me to write the book, the pages of my book were torn and burnt because of which I could not complete the book.  
Abdul Wahid Sheikh, Author and Lawyer

Sheikh’s trial came to an end in 2014 when he was acquitted by the MCOCA court. But it took a year for the judgement and Sheikh became an acquitted prisoner.

From 2014 to 2015, the judgement was being written in the court and during that time, we were kept in jail. We were not even called to the court. I considered that period to be lucky for me and I gathered all the documents and the charge sheet, and began writing the book from the beginning. In 2015, the book was completed in jail.  
Abdul Wahid Sheikh, Author and Lawyer
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After his release, Sheikh started looking for publishers and came in contact with Dr Zafar-Ul-Islam Khan of Pharos Publications in Delhi. Khan published the book in 2016.

Sheikh is a lawyer by profession and hopes that his book will serve as a guide for youth who suffer his fate.

It is a very important book as it describes how the police harass, illegally detain and torture youngsters, and how they manage to charge them with wrongful cases. Everything is mentioned in the book. It is a handbook or a guide for all those youngsters who have been trapped by the police.

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