Held for ‘9/11-type’ plot, no case 4 years later
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It was a sensational claim. Presenting 24-year-old Imran Kirmani before waiting cameras on November 21, 2006, the Delhi Police's Special Cell called him a member of "a Lashkar-e-Toiba module" that was "planning a 9/11-type strike in Delhi".
Kirmani had a degree in aeronautical engineering from Jaipur, had done a six-month course at Amritsar Flying Club and was working with Star Aviation Academy — nobody asked any questions.
Four years, five months and 21 days later, Additional Sessions Judge Surinder S Rathi acquitted Kirmani, ripping apart the police case. All Kirmani has left are questions. "My dream has already died, there is no future," he says. "How will I begin again? Who will accept me in the aviation industry? Who will return me five years of my life?"
The "distortions" began with the chargesheet filed in Kirmani's case. While before the media police alleged a 9/11-like plot, in its chargesheet, the Special Cell claimed a tip-off from a central intelligence agency that a Lashkar militant had set up base in Delhi and was funding terror through hawala, and that his brother was an Imran, a resident of Dwarka. And that Imran also collected and transferred terror funds.
The police claimed to have recovered "around 1.5 kilogram of RDX, two automatic timers and 4.5 lakh rupees hawala money" from Kirmani and his "accomplice". While releasing Kirmani, the court ordered that the money be returned to him because his family had produced substantial proof that they had sold a piece of land in Sopore to help Kirmani buy a single-bedroom flat in Delhi.
The house was part of a dream that Kirmani had only then started believing was possible. Belonging to Magam in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, he had left his village at an early age and after Class V, joined Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Kupwara. Later he went to Chandigarh to finish his schooling.
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