Ayoub’s life sentence plunges family into endless misery

I Want Him To Perform My Last Rites: Father

IMRAN MUZAFFAR

Srinagar, Dec 14: The house was calm and when the five-year-old Darfan Ayoub saw the photograph of his father Muhammad Ayoub in a local newspaper, the boy could just utter one word: Papa……?
 Muhammad Ayoub Dar of Rawalpora is serving life-sentence at Srinagar’s Central Jail since 2009. His home on the City outskirts is inhabited by five souls but without a breadwinner.
 Ayoub’s six-year-old daughter Yuksal, a kindergarten student, waits for the return of his Papa. Ayoub’s 27-year-old sister does not agree to get married till his brother returns. Ayoub’s 82-year-old father Haji Abdul Ahad Dar has lost his memory and has one last wish: To see his son return so that he may perform his last rites.
 Ayoub’s 33-year-old wife Rouhie broke down when she heard the word Papa from Darfan. She silently pulled the newspaper from his hands and placed it under the table. On the table, a number of monochrome and color photographs of Ayoub’s marriage with Rouhie were decked. Darfan and Yuksal froze, their eyes shooting up to Ayoub’s photos.
 “I can no longer hide the truth from the children,” Rouhie said.
 “They ask me about their father and I tell them he will come soon.”
 Rouhie said Ayoub was sentenced to life on March 7, 2009 for second time.  “He had already spent 13-year term in jail before our marriage. And then he was again sentenced to life,” she said. “They falsely implicated him in the assassination case of Moulvi Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq.”
 Rouhie and Ayoub were married in 2004. She was 25 then. “Ayoub had carved his niche in business. He had his own restaurant at Rawalpora Chowk. And when he was sentenced for life term again, the family was crumbled,” she said.
 Ayoub’s mother Hajira died due to the shock as she could not bear the life sentence of her son. “His elder sister also passed away shortly after his life sentence,” Rouhie said.
 “I have no energy left to face the challenges without him. Above is God and below are us. There is just one thing which keeps me going. That is hope.”
 Rouhie said her husband was innocent and there was no evidence against him of any sort. “I just say my Ayoub is innocent. He had nothing to do with anything. I have one thing to ask: Does law work this way?”
 Rouhie said nobody ever helped them to get Ayoub back even after going from pillar to post. “The thing is not we don’t have money or we are starving. The point is my kids are asking for their father. Ayoub’s father who has lost memory is waiting for him. And then his sister who is looking for his brother so that she gets married. We just need him back,” she said.
 Life without Ayoub, Rouhie said, is like facing a doomsday each day. “Our home is without roof as Ayoub is not there. We just hope he comes back and infuses new life in all of us,” she said.
 Ayoub’s wife said the family had applied for his parole but was not granted. “Our questions are never answered as why he was given second life sentence if he had already undergone one. We are never paid heed,” she said.
 Ayoub’s 82-year-old father Haji Abdul Ahad Dar is a loner. The moment he enters his home lobby, he gets stifled and struggles to breathe. He always remains outside, on the veranda. “I was a lion…,” he said. “But when my innocent son was put behind bars for no fault of his, I broke down.” The octogenarian said before he dies he wants to see his son back home. “I want him to perform my last rites.”

Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 14 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 15 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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