“It is my birthday today, and there could have been no better gift for me than this. I am speechless with joy, and will never be able to forget this day. Thank you for letting me believe that wrong cannot triumph over those who have avoided doing wrong at all costs,” Dr. Shabista Khan said hours after the Allahabad High Court ordered her husband Dr. Kafeel Khan’s immediate release and the dropping of stringent National Security Act (NSA) charges against him which was invoked earlier this year over an alleged speech by him against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Khan was arrested in January for delivering the speech at Aligarh Muslim University on December 10, 2019. The NSA charges were invoked against him on February 13, 2020, on the orders of the Aligarh District Magistrate. On August 16, his detention under NSA was extended for the second time by three months.
On Tuesday, the division bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saumitra Dayal declared the extension of his detention as illegal. The order was passed on the basis of a petition filed by the Khan’s mother, Nuzhat Parveen.
“Even if late, justice has been delivered to us. Me and my family are very grateful. My daughter was finally able to meet her father, after an immense wait of seven months. I am also very thankful to all those who have raised their voice in support of Dr. Kafeel, on social media, through protest marches, and even by sticking posters that demanded his release,” Dr. Shabista Khan, who is a dentist, said in a video interview with Malayalam TV channel Mediaone TV.
She said those who supported her husband provided her family with strength in tough times and were able to carry forward her demands to the government and judiciary.
“My heart also saddened at the fact that an innocent civilian, concerned with nothing more or less than being of service to the nation, was slapped with NSA and detained for seven months. In this process, a father was kept away from his daughter, a mother deprived of her son. I can’t express in words how precarious these seven months were for us… my soul shudders at its recollection. Every day for seven months, I had to lie to my four-year-old daughter, telling her that her father was away treating Corona patients. But children are not foolish. This lie of reassurance nearly broke my family, it nearly broke me,” Shabista further said.
Now Shabista hopes the government will think twice before slapping innocent people with NSA.
She also urged all to keep raising their voices and demand the release of every single innocent person in jail, who have been wrongfully arrested for doing their civic duties.