23 years in prison, Goni reaches home to a rousing welcome

‘Won't take legal recourse, it was destiny’
23 years in prison, Goni reaches home to a rousing welcome

Bhadarwah, July 27: Four days after the Rajasthan High Courtacquitted him in the 1996 Samleti blast case, Abdul Gani Goni said he won'ttake a legal recourse against his "illegal imprisonment" for 23 years, as "itwas the destiny and the will of God".

Despite heavy downpour, hundreds of people gathered atBhadarwah town to welcome Goni, 57, who was recently acquitted of all chargesand released after spending 23 years in prison.

The people had gathered from Pasri Bus Stand to Jamia Masjidlocality of the town to welcome Goni.

After reaching his home town, Goni first of all went to themain mosque to offer prayers. From mosque, he went to grave of his parents. Hebroke down at her mother's grave and said it was all destiny and "I do not holdany grudge against anyone and have left everything to God."

"I was a teacher by profession and it was written in mydestiny to go to jail. Perhaps, Allah wanted me to teach inside the jail as Icontinued to teach Islam to the inmates both at Tihar and Jaipur jails,"Goni said.

Goni was arrested in June 1996. He remained in prison atdifferent places outside J&K and was never released on parole or bail.

During his 23 years imprisonment, his elder sister ShafiqaGoni a retired nursing teacher, ran from pillar to post and exhausted everypenny to seek his release.

"My mother died 3 years back after waiting for him fortwo decades. When she was on death bed, I applied thrice for his parole butevery time it was turned down," said Shafiqa Goni, 65, elder sister ofGoni.

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