Pak scientist in Ajmer jail likely to be freed

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    Pak scientist in Ajmer jail likely to be freed
    India - 24 JUNE 2011

    AJMER: Hope of early release from prison soared for Pakistani virologist Khaleel Chishty, in jail on a murder rap, after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to home minister P Chidambaram to oversee the case. Chishty's release is on the agenda of the ongoing foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan.

    Acting swiftly on the Centre's intervention, Rajasthan governor Shivraj Patil has sought legal opinion on Chishty's reprieve from conviction in a 19-year-old murder case over a land dispute.

    An Ajmer fast-track court had in January this year given life imprisonment to Chishty (77) and three others including Farooq, Aqil and Yaasir for killing one Idris.

    Chishty of Nazimabad, Karachi, had come to Ajmer in 1992 to buy a house here in dargah bazaar. In Ajmer, he had a fight with Idris in which Idris was killed. Chishty is Ajmer-born and his family had migrated to Pakistan after the partition. Aqil and Yasir are on bail with the court having rejected Farooq's and Idris's bail application.

    While Chishty's prospective release has led to protests here, human rights activists have urged amnesty for him on humanitarian grounds, that could also become a confidence building measure between India and Pakistan. Justice (retd) Markandey Katju's recent letter to the PM was the latest trigger for the mercy petition filed by Chishty's daughter.

    Idris's family wrote letters to the PM, the Rajasthan CM and governor, on Thursday to block Chishty's mercy plea stating that Idris was murdered and a pardon will hurt them as they lost a family member in the prime of his youth. "I am a widow with two kids and the person responsible for murdering my husband doesn't deserve mercy," said Sadique Bibi.

    Counsel Barkat Usmani said, "Government can't take a call on the mercy petition other than maintaining the status quo until the high court gives its verdict on the appeal against the fast track court conviction." Chishty's passport is in custody of the fast track court.



    Source:Pak scientist in Ajmer jail likely to be freed - The Times of India
     
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