Mumbai, November 26: Seven years ago on this day one more life is still under the affect of 26/11 which is less talked about. The 26/11 attack has a tragic resonance not only on the families of the 166 victims but also on the family of a man who was falsely implicated by the Mumbai police crime branch officials of preparing ground for the terrorist who stormed at the India’s economic capital in 2008.
Faheem Ansari, a resident of Goregaon area of Mumbai was acquitted by the Supreme Court in August 2013 along with Sabahuddin Ansari, from Bihar who were arrested for allegedly providing base for the 26/11 attackers including Ajmal Kasab.
The day after 26/11, there has been a long battle for justice by Yasmeen Ansari (39) wife of Faheem and the powerful Mumbai crime branch authorities. The battle ended after the controversial murder of advocate Shahid Azmi, who represented Faheem at the special court and it is believed that Azmi was murdered as he represented Faheem. Read Also: (26/11 attacks anniversary: Lessons India can learn from 13/11 Paris ISIS terror attacks)
Yasmeen who is hardly educated went through hell in last seven years trying to remove the tag of terrorist from her husband’s name.
Yasmeen and her daughter Iqra (12) are living with the family of Fahim’s elder brother Usman Ansari in Mumbra, a small pocket out of Mumbai. After Faheem’s arrest, the stigmatised family faced so many losses that his elder brother was reduced to a rickshaw driver from a businessman.
Yasmeen said to India.com, “Thanks to our faith in Allah as he made us meet people like advocate Shahid Azmi, who stood by us at a time when our close relatives started distancing themselves from us”. Yasmeen now makes a living as a seamstress.
Yasmin, studied till 10th standard at a school in Madanpura, Central Mumbai was married to Faheem in 1997, the youngest among the nine siblings who lived at Hanuman Nagar, Goregaon. She said, “We never thought in my dreams that my life will come at this position where our relatives will distance away from us. I never ever thought that we will be going to the top court of India to seek justice”.
Faheem was arrested in Rampur district in Uttar Pradesh on February 9, 2008 by the special task force of the UP police in connection with the CRPF camp attack of December 31, 2007 in which several CRPF personnel were killed.
According to Yasmeen, Faheem had gone to Lucknow to buy dressed which he was planning to sell in Mumbai. “We are not sure whether it was February 1 of February 3 of 2008 attack when Faheem went to Lucknow after which his phone was unavailable,” Yasmeen said.
During the night when Mumbai was under attack, Yasmeen was onboard to a train from Mumbai to Bareili in Uttar Pradesh where the family was going to meet Faheem. “We heard from people in the train that Mumbai is under attack as we were on our way to UP, we were not concerned about the incident,” said Yasmeen.
But the television media gave their opinions that Faheem Ansari was involved in the 26/11 attacks instead of being in Bareily jail for last nine months.
“I thought how it would be possible and how can Indian media blame me when my husband was in jail in UP and attacks are taking place in Mumbai,” Yasmeen said. But finally, when Mumbai police accused Faheem for his alleged involvement for preparing grounds for the terrorist the low-profile family living in Goregaon came in contact with the world media few days after the terrorist attacks.
Yasmeen, who was born and brought up in Madanpura use to stand out of the office of high profile lawyers. None of the high profile lawyers were interested in fighting for Faheem for various reason. Also money was the biggest hurdle which came in front of the family as some lawyers asked Rs 20 lakh to fight for Faheem but didn’t assured his acquittal.
However, Shahid Azmi, an advocate famously known among Mumbai Muslim’s agreed to fight for Faheem, after reading the whole chargesheet. It was reported that after Shahid accepted to fight Faheem’s case he was threatened by various groups. It was February 11, 2010, one of the worst days in Yasmeen’s life when she received a call from her brother who asked her to switch on the television as Shahid Azmi was murdered.
“As soon as I switched on the TV, everywhere there was news that Shahid Azmi, was shot in his office. After learning about his death, I was worried about the case. However my husband was acquitted from the sessions court.”
The Supreme Court acquitted Faheem Ansari and Sabahuddin Ahmed on August 29, 2013 their his in 26/11. Faheem’s family has demanded compensation from the Central Government for the financial losses they had suffered in last seven years.
The Jamiat-Ulema-e-Maharashtra, which is fighting cases for more than 100 terror accused, had not charged a single penny in Faheem’s case which was fought in Sessions Court then challenged in the High Court and later in the Supreme Court.
“My 12-year-old daughter Iqra who is still confused and keeps asking me the same question: since the court had acquitted her dad, why is he not coming home,” said Yasmeen.
Yasmeen who is a pious women was always seen with her face covered and always remembers advocate Shahid Azmi in her prayers saying that, “Allah ney Shahid Bhai ko humaarey liye masihaa banaakar bhejaa thaa. Unhooney humaaree madad tab kee jab duniyaa hamein aatankwaadi banaaney pey tulee thee“.
Whatever happened with the family of Faheem, they are still pessimist for their future life. “We just hope, Faheem get’s a job as soon as he is released”, Yasmeen said adding that we always believe in the justice system of the country.
In October, the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh had appealed to the court asking if the case against Faheem and the other accused in the CRPF camp attack along with three more terror attack cases can be withdrawn, discharging the accused.