Indian Supreme Court acquits Pakistani prisoner Dr Chishty

After the acquittal: Dr Chishty and Mrs Chishty with Justice Katju at the judge's residence, New Delhi, Dec 12, 2012

After the acquittal: Dr Chishty and Mrs Chishty with Justice Katju at the judge’s residence, New Delhi, Dec 12, 2012

At last! On 12-12-12, the Indian Supreme Court acquitted Dr Chishty. Earlier, an unprecedented Indian SC verdict had granted him bail to return to Pakistan, the first time ever that a Pakistani prisoner in India was given such permission. The retired virologist, now over 80 years old, had gone back to India quietly in November for the court hearing seeking to dismiss the murder charges against him. It’s been a long struggle since we first started campaigning for this, and there’s a great feeling of satisfaction that it has finally ended well.

Tehelka did a podcast with me this morning. I made a mistake in the chronology of how the process to free Dr Chishty began. In fact, Amna Chishty (Dr Chisthy’s daughter) had written to the Indian SC and Law Ministry, after which the trial was finally held (after 19 years); Justice Katju came into the picture a bit later – but his role in freeing Dr Chishty was, as I said, essential.

Dr Khalil Chishty is back home – three cheers for candle-light peaceniks

Ajmer: Dr Chishty talks with his family after his release from jail in Ajmer on May 9, 2012. PTI Photo

A post by my Delhi-based journalist friend Shivam Vij in Kafila- but he modestly leaves out his own role in this – it was his idea to get President Zardari briefed about the Dr Chishty case before he left for Ajmer. Thanks to Farahnaz Ispahani for getting the information to President Zardari, following up via Bilawal Bhutto who accompanied the President, and ensured that the matter came up when they met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. It was after this meeting and their discussion of the case that things began moving forward. Perhaps that was what gave the Honourable Judges of the Supreme Court of India the confidence to make this unprecedented judgement – though not without cautioning that it should not be seen as a precedent! Shivam’s Kafila piece: Dr Khalil Chishty is back home – three cheers for candle-light peaceniks.

Amna Chishty’s appeal to Governor Rajasthan re Dr Chishty

A rare family meeting at Hatundi, 2007: Dr Chishty with daughter Amna, her children and his nephew's children.

June 23, 2011

To,
Honorable Sh. Shivraj Patil
Governor of Rajasthan
Raj Bhawan, Civil Lines,
Jaipur, India

Subject: Case of Pakistani Prisoner Dr. Syed Mohammed Khaleel Chishty

This is regarding the mercy petition of my father Dr. Chishty who is presently in Ajmer prison hospital. Continue reading

PUCL plea to Rajasthan Governor: Sign Dr Chishty’s mercy petition

There is an outpouring of gratitude in India for the role played by Pakistanis, led by Ansar Burney, in getting freed Indian sailors from Somali pirates. But from the Governor Rajasthan, on whose desk the mercy petition for Dr Khaleel Chishty sits waiting for his signature, there is deafening silence. Fed up of the constant wait and wanting to dispel any ideas that the Governors power’s were limited if there is an appeal in the high court, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) sent the following letter. Which is also apparently sitting on his desk. Continue reading

Governor Rajasthan delays Dr Chishty’s release

Unable to walk on his own anymore, Dr Chishty is carried to court in Ajmer. Photo: Times of India

DR CHISHTY CASE UPDATE

Beena Sarwar

June 21: The expected release of an elderly Pakistani academic imprisoned in India for nearly two decades was delayed as the Governor of Rajasthan raised further queries instead of signing the mercy petition recommended to him by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan - flouting the constitutional provision that requires the Governor to act upon the advice of the Chief Minister, making his signature a mere formality. Continue reading

Rajasthan Home Secretary, PUCL, join hands for Dr Chishty

PUCL General Secretary Kavita Srivastava: fighting for a cause

Note: Report compiled from information sent by Kavita Srivastava, General Secretary PUCL, to Dr Chishty’s family and those engaged in working for his release.

With the sympathetic involvement of the Government of Rajasthan and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), hope rises for a Pakistani prisoner, retired virologist Dr Khaleel Chishty, 78, who has been under trial for nearly 19 years before an Ajmer sessions court finally pronounced sentence in January this year, convicting him to life imprisonment (14 years). Continue reading

Aman ki Asha and a daughter’s appeal

Ajmer, Jan 2011: Unable to walk, Dr Chishty is carried to the courtroom. Photo: TOI

In humanity’s name: Aman ki Asha has been campaigning for clemency towards cross-border prisoners – young boys who stray across by mistake or in search of ‘Bollywood’, fishermen who cross the maritime border, families who have committed minor transgressions, long-term prisoners incarcerated for years on either side, until their story is taken up by human rights activists and media…. See articles compiled at the Aman ki Asha website at the link ‘In humanity’s name‘. Four articles, including the one below, published today, available at this link.

A campaign is building up in India for the release of an elderly retired Pakistani professor detained for over 19 years

By Beena Sarwar Continue reading

Dr Chishty incarceration: details from his daughter Amna Chishty

Photo of Dr Chishty taken in 2007 when his daughter was able to visit him

16th April 2011

Details of my father’s case:

Before I go into his case a brief background of my father:

He is almost 80 years old. He received his PhD from University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1968 in Public Health Virology. He had an illustrious career as a professor and head of department of virology and microbiology at Karachi University. In the late 80’s he retired from his last job as the Director of Public Health at King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah Saudi Arabia. He is a principled man who is well‐read, well bred and well traveled. He worked hard to raise a family of six children – one son (oldest, with engineering diploma), five daughters (one is a doctor, one is a Pharmacologist, two are graduates and myself an MBA in marketing). He educated us and built a house for us in Karachi and supported his younger brother in India as well. After retirement he wanted to live in that house in Karachi and enjoy his retirement with his family and his grandchildren.

The following events led to his current plight: Continue reading

Dr Chishty’s imprisonment: his daughter Amna’s update

Received an email this morning from Amna Chishty in Canada, copied to various people working to secure the release of her father, the aged Pakistani professor Dr Khalil Chishty, a prisoner in India for over 19 years, currently in Ajmer Prison hospital (report in The Hindu April 15, editorial in The News on April 13). She expresses her family’s gratitude for the continued efforts to help Dr Chishty and bring his case to the forefront and stresses the following points that need to be highlighted in the media:
Continue reading

Appeal to Indian President for release of aged Pakistani prisoner

On April 4, 2011 Amna Chishty, daughter of retired Pakistani professor Dr Khaleel Chishty currently a prisoner in Ajmer prison hospital appealed to Aman ki Asha to secure her father’s release, inspired by the Indian Supreme Court’s appeal for the release of Indian prisoner Gopal Dass in Pakistan, whom the Pakistan government subsequently released. Since then, events have moved fast in India, with various high-powered individuals working behind the scenes to help Dr Chishty. Below, an appeal from distinguished Indian citizens to their president.

Continue reading

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