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'We paid Rs 1 lakh for Afzal's release'

SRINAGAR: Campaigning for her husband's life, wife of Mohammad Afzal Guru, sentenced to death in the Parliament attack case, on Friday claimed to have paid Rs one lakh to Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police to get him released from custody in 2000.

"Afzal was picked up by SOG personnel in 2000. Two days later, the SOG officers called us and demanded Rs one lakh for his release," Tabassum said.She said it took her family five days to collect the money from various sources and paid the officers of the SOG for release of her husband.

Afzal was released 18 days after we paid the money to the police officers, she claimed. Tabassum alleged that the SOG personnel even took away the Bajaj scooter Afzal was riding on the day he was arrested.

Asked to name the officers, Tabassum was initially reluctant but alleged Vinay Gupta, Devender Singh and Shanti Singh were the officers who had taken money from her.

She said after his release, Afzal moved to Srinagar from Sopore in the hope of escaping the harassment of the SOG personnel but there was no respite for the family.

Later, Afzal went to Delhi and he was falsely implicated in the Parliament attack case, she claimed.
Tabassum said she feared for her life as the SOG still ruled the roost in Kashmir. "They can do anything they want. I hope they do not harm me or my son in retaliation," she said.


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posted by Bimal 27.1.07,


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