A computer professional has returned home to Srinagar, eleven years after he was arrested by the Gujarat Police on terror accusations after a Vadodara court ruled that the prosecution had failed to substantiate the claims against Bashir Ahmad Baba under the UAPA.
Bashir Ahmed Baba, a native of Srinagar’s Rainawari neighbourhood, was arrested in Gujarat in 2010 on suspicion of recruiting young men and sending them to Pakistan for terrorist training. Baba maintained his innocence throughout his trial, telling the court that he was sent to Gujarat by the company he was working for at the time to get computer management training.
Baba stated that he and a colleague were placed in a hostel in Ahmedabad to attend the two-week training programme, but the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) of Gujarat police apprehended them on the seventh day of their arrival. “I had no idea what my interrogators were talking about. They didn’t even tell me what I had done and kept on saying that I must confess,” said Baba.
“The charge against the accused that he stayed back in Gujarat and was found in Anand on March 13 and that he had received financial aid in order to set up a terror network in Gujarat has not been proven sufficiently, nor has there been any evidence presented to prove that he received such benefits,” the 4th Additional Sessions Judge of Anand District Court S A Nakum wrote in an 87-page verdict.
“I never lost faith. I was innocent and I knew one day I will be released but didn’t know it would take this much time. Yet I don’t have a lot of regrets. This was a test from Allah,” said Baba.