It is some hours since the Delhi High Court has acquitted Mahmood Farooqui of the rape charge that was slapped on him in June 2015.
Mahmood’s wife filmmaker, theatre personality and activist Anusha Rizvi who has firmly maintained that her husband is innocent of the charge can hardly believe what has happened. “Mahmood’s freedom came so suddenly, it was so unexpected, we were just not prepared for it. In fact as I speak to you I am still with our lawyers. There is a lot of paperwork still to be done.”
So what are her thoughts? “I always maintained my husband was innocent . I’ve been through the case. I know what the truth is. I don’t want to go into the case right now. All I’ll say is , justice has prevailed for us. My husband and I have finally got the verdict we deserved. But what about the thousands who languish in jail without the resources means or remedy of finding justice?”
Anusha’s husband’s incarceration gave her the chance to meet many innocent convicts. “There are women in jail for years and years. They have done no wrong. They don’t why they are in prison. They are innocent.But don’t know how to prove it. It is frightening and sobering.”
Anusha wants to work with Innocent prisoners . “During his incarceration my husband began a newspaper Tihar Khabar which regularly informs inmates of their judicial and legal rights.Many of the underprivileged inmates don’t even know why they are in jail. I’ve also been performing my husband’s theatre plays in every place possible carrying the message of crime and justice to the furthest corners . It has not been a time of resignation and surrender to despair for me. I managed to keep my hope alive because I knew my husband was innocent and I knew one way or another his innocence would be proven.”
At the moment Anusha is trying to come to terms with the altered circumstances in her life. “Till yesterday I was focused entirely on Mahmood’s freedom. Suddenly today my husband is a free man. The fact is yet to sink in.”
Anusha is thankful to all those who stood by her. “My family and friends never let me feel isolated in my crisis. I owe my strength and conviction to them. They kept me going. Otherwise I don’t know how I could’ve survived this ordeal.”