AJMER, INDIA: Begum Mehrunissa Chishty, wife of the Dr Khalil Chishty who spent 19 years in an Indian prison before being convicted of murder earlier this year, wept as she appealed with folded hands to the President of India and the Governor of Rajasthan to sign a mercy petition and let her ailing husband to return to Pakistan.
It was an emotional moment for Dr Khalil Chishty’s family, who had travelled to Ajmer from Karachi and UAE appeal for the release of their father.
The 78-year old Dr SM Khalil Chishty, a famous virologist, was in January 2011 sentenced to life for committing murder following a trial which had lasted for more than 19 years. Chishty’s family from Karachi is currently in Ajmer to visit him in prison.
Family members of Chishty who travelled to Ajmer include his wife, Begum Mehrunissa, daughter Shoa Jawaid and grandson Syed Ali Ghalib Chishty. Chishty’s other daughter; Tasneema who had married an Indian and resides in the UAE was also present with her two grown-up children. The family is here for a month to visit Dr Chishty in Jail.
During his lengthy trial, Dr Chishty developed several ailments. A Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju petitioned the Prime Minister of India on Dr Chishty’s behalf and the matter was routed through the Indian Home Ministry to the Rajasthan Governor, Shivraj Patil for clemency on humanitarian grounds, which is where it rests at present.
Begum Mehrunissa has lost 100 per cent hearing in one ear and 90 per cent in the other out of shock and trauma.
Shoa Jawaid, Dr Chishty’s daughter, was teary eyed when she said that their father had travelled all over the world and finally when he chose to settle in Karachi after his retirement, he was embroiled in a murder case in India. She also appealed to the media, which she appreciated had raised the issue so vociferously, to once again highlight her father’s release so that he could go back home.
Syed Ali Ghalib Chishty, the 25-year old grandson of Dr Chishty who brought his grandmother to India said that it was his grandfather who had taught him how to read and write and now that he has become a chartered accountant, it broke his heart that the person who had taught him as a child was not there to see him as a grown man.
Meeting foreign prisoners in jail for a foreigner is an arduous process. But the family said they had managed to get all the necessary clearances and would be meeting Dr Chishty in jail soon.
Kavita Srivastava and Anant Bhatagar of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan, which has been working on the release of Dr Chishty too asked the government of India to speed-up the process of Dr Chishty’s release papers so that he could be sent back with his family.
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Kindly remember that Indian law does not make any consession just becoz you are old or young...If a person commits crime ,he/she has to be punished.whether that person is old young, strong ,weak financally physically or due to position. The Indian Court has showed that for all to see by putting 7 Indian Cabinet Ministers behind bars .....Just a day before they put 86 year old former Telecom minister behind bars....Sukhram was facing the same age related problem as Dr Chisti is facing... . Also all the ministers including Sukhram belong to the ruling party.I am not aware whether Pakistan court is as serious in implementing the law as in India. Yet out of sheer sympathy and also becoz, this is not a corruption case and the person has already spent quite a good amount of time in the jail, ,I wont mind if Dr Chisti is released which is most likely ......Good luck to him and hope he is able to spend his last days with his family in peace....