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Intezar Ali's ordeal: tortured, kept in prison for 57 days without any proof

N Kumar | Updated on: 18 October 2015, 1:26 IST

The ordeal

  • Intezar Ali is a medical practitioner in Ranchi
  • The police apprehended him near Kita Railway station on 20 August
  • They allege that he was terrorist, travelling with explosives on the train

The botch-up

  • The police were unable to find any proof against Intezar
  • The court released him on bail on Thursday. He spent 57 days in prison

More in the story

  • Why did the police torture Intezar Ali?
  • Why did security agencies end up contradicting each other?

The ordeal of Intezar Ali would have given the Grand Alliance an opportunity to criticise the BJP. But every party seems to have turned a blind eye towards his case.

Intezar Ali spent 57 days in Ranchi's Birsa Munda Central Jail. Nobody knew what his crime was. He was apparently arrested after police was tipped-off about his alleged terror links. The police reportedly tried every trick in the book, including torture, on Intezar Ali. Yet, it could produce no credible evidence against him in the court.

No political party in Bihar cares about a man who was imprisoned for 57 days without any evidence

The Chief Judicial Magistrate granted him bail on Thursday. However, he had to spend one more night behind bars as the court's order reached the jail only on Friday.

The ordeal

Intezar Ali, a Ranchi based medical practitioner, was picked up on 20 August near Kita railway station. It was a joint operation conducted by army intelligence, Ranchi police and the Government Railway Police (GRP). Security agencies alleged that he was traveling in Burdwan-Hatia passenger train with explosives.

The local media was quick to sensationalise the arrest, giving the impression that a top terrorist had been caught before he could carry out his nefarious plan. The police too spared no time in patting itself on the back. All these theories turned out to be hot air.

The police repeatedly claimed that it had seized 2 bags full of explosives from a shelf near Intezar's seat in the train. But they couldn't establish any links between the bags and Intezar.

Police tried to prove Intezar Ali to be a traitor, but found no evidence. Justice triumphs, he says

The police checked his call details, laptop, mobile phone and even interrogated his friends and relatives they weren't able to find anything incriminating.

They verified Intezar's track record from the intelligence agencies in Bihar and Jharkhand, but drew a blank. Intezar Ali tried his best to convince the police that he was returning from a rural medical camp in Jhalda in West Bengal. However, no one was willing to believe him. The security agencies stood by the theory that he was travelling with 500 grams of RDX.

It took 24 days for Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das to intervene. The probe was eventually handed over from the Ranchi GRP to the CID. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was asked to assist with the investigation but it excused itself from the case after a preliminary inquiry.

According to police spokesperson ASN Pradhan, the matter was handed over to the CID after the government was not satisfied with the GRP probe. The court verdict is based on its findings. He refused to divulge any more details.

I was brought to the police station and tortured. They fixed batons between my legs and thrashed me

Meanwhile, the CID refuted the initial theory that RDX was found in Intezar's possession. It pointed out that an 'explosive like' substance was wrapped in a Ranchi newspaper and there was little chance that it was being carried from West Bengal.

Similar loopholes in the police's version ensured that the court released him on bail. But, nobody has raised any finger against the security agencies for goofing up so badly.

There have been many incidents in Jharkhand in which police informants crossed the line to prove their information right.

The story in Intezar's own words

"I don't have words to express how I spent 57 days in jail. Police used all their resources to prove that I am a traitor. This was merely on the basis of a tip-off by an informant. They dragged me by the collar at Kita railway station. I was sitting on a single seat in the train. Some people in civil dress came and began checking my bag. All they could find was a stethoscope and a blood pressure machine."

Police say he was carrying 500 grams of RDX. All he had was a stethoscope and blood pressure machine

"Suddenly, one of the sleuths picked up a bag from a shelf on the other side and said- ' I have found it. Take him with you.' I tried my best to explain that I was coming from a medical camp and knew nothing about the bag. But they did not pay any heed."

"I was brought to the Silli police station and badly tortured. They fixed batons between my legs and brutally thrashed me. They said I would be beaten up in such a manner that the medical report wouldn't reveal anything. The police has investigated the matter from every angle and I am out on bail. I have full faith in the judiciary. I will fight my case till I am acquitted. I will also help many others like me who are languishing in jail for no fault of theirs."

First published: 18 October 2015, 1:26 IST