It was an emotional moment for Dr Khalil Chishty’s family when they were addressing the media in Ajmer, with an appeal for the release of their father. The family from Karachi that arrived consisted of the wife Begum Mehrunissa, daughter Shoa Jawaid and grandson Syed Ali Ghalib Chishty. One daughter Tasneema who married an Indian and lives in the UAE was also present in the media interaction with her two grownup children. The family from Karachi is here for a month to visit Dr Chishty in Jail.
Begum Merhunissa Chishty, wife of Dr SM Khalil Chishty, the famous virologist who was sentenced for life in a murder case in January 2011, after a trial which lasted for more than 19 years, wept when with folded hands she appealed to the President of India and the Governor of Rajasthan to sign the mercy petition and let her husband leave for home in Pakistan. Begum Mehrunissa has lost her 100 percent hearing in one ear and 90 percent in another out of shock and trauma.
Shoa Jawaid, the fourth daughter of Dr Chishty from Karachi had moist eyes when she said that their father had a life of travel all over the world and finally he chose to settle in Karachi after retirement, when this incident happened and his dreams of seeing his daughters married, his grand children growing went for a six. They have been very disturbed that he has not been able to come in 19 years. She also appealed to the media, which she said in India had raised the issue so vociferously, to once again take on the issue of her father\’s release so that he could go back home and be with all of them.
Syed Ali Ghalib Chishty, the twenty five year old grandson of Dr Chishty who brought his grandmother to India was extremely happy to learn that the mercy petition file was again with the Governor, something that they did not know till they came to India. He said that it was his grandfather who taught him how to read and write and now when he has become a chartered accountant, it breaks his heart that the person who led him as a child was not there to see him now grown up into an adult.
The jail visit permission for foreign nationals in prison consists of the clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs before the GOR allows them. We have learnt that the MEA and MHA – foreigner’s desk also cleared it and so did the GOR. After the press conference the PUCL got a communication that the GOR had also got the order from the MHA and the Chishty family has got the permission to meet Dr Khalil Chishty in Jail
Kavita Srivastava and Anant Bhatagar of the PUCL, Rajasthan which has been involved from the beginning working on the release of Dr. Chishty stated that the Chief Minister of Rajasthan has shown exemplary action in the matter of the mercy petition and had sent it up to the Governor in June itself. The governor had sent back the mercy petition to the CM, in the month of July, with several queries, which related to the medical condition of Dr Chishty, the role of Chishty in the delay in the trial that took 19 years and other related questions.
It was shared that Dr Chishty had suffered seriously the following ailments.
1) Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy ( since last five years)
2) Ischemic heart disease since 2008
3) Left ventricular failure (LVF) (in local parlance called congestive heart failure), HTN ( Hypertension) and Cerebral vascular accident ( In local parlance called brain stroke) since 2008 for which he was admitted in the JLN (Government) hospital in, Ajmer
4) Left side intertrochanteric fracture of femur on 10/03/10.
5) For L.L. fracture he was about to be operated, but developed convulsions and became unconscious during anaesthesia, so was not operated and is recorded in the Mittal Hospital documents
6) 23/04/2010 – after six weeks skeletal traction applied pins and needles at the knee joints. He was catheterized for 3 months, so developed urinary tract infection.
7) 01/07/2010 – Pin traction did not work, so was removed. He got bandaged and was sent home with walker and wheelchair. In the X-ray, fracture sight was not healed. Urination, stool passing, daily bath etc. all on bed in that period.
And since he was without his family, with the trial not reaching any conclusion, living in isolation he suffered physical, mental and emotional trauma which has changed his mood and psychology. He also developed a communication gap with other people, he feels insecure and is irritable, and wants to be left alone. This may be a condition of mental depression which was never examined ever by any psychiatrist.
It was also stated that the his case was pending in the trial court for more than nineteen years because of the prosecution as well as the procedural complications for which Dr Chishty cannot be blamed. Rather Dr Chishty was living in a situation of house arrest because he was supposed to report to the concerned police station every fortnight. Dr Chishty would have been the last person to get the trial delayed as he would have been the first person to be free after the trial and return to his home in Pakistan. He had no other objective in life other see the trial concluding.
It was also stated in the press conference that the family of deceased Idris Chishty which was against the pardoning of Dr Chishty, responding to that PUCL and the family of Dr Chishty appealed to Siddika Biwi to also pardon Dr Chishty and let him go home.
DL Tripathi, President of the PUCL chaired the meeting which was also attended by Sister Mariola and Sister Carol, both who work in Jails.