28-year-old acquitted of rape charges after 18 months: ‘I have suffered for a crime I never committe
The long wait of 28-year-old Wasim Malik, who was named an accused in the 2016 gang rape case, will finally come to an end as he was acquitted of all charges in the case by the court on Friday. “I have been acquitted in a crime I never committed. The case left my family more harassed through two years,” Malik told Chandigarh Newsline.
“I am free now, but I don’t know how to restart my life again. Me and my family have faced embarrassment due to the case and who will I hold responsible for it,” said Malik after his acquittal. “My mini van has been sold. Our house in Saharanpur (UP) has been sold. This chapter has taken everything from us. The police arrested me for no fault of mine and held me responsible for the rape. But who will I hold responsible for damaging my life,” he wondered.
Malik, meanwhile, hopes for some compensation from the police. “I don’t know what happens legally. But I hope the police will give me compensation for the harassment and financial damage they have made to my life.”
A resident of Sector 52, Malik was out on bail in the case registered in December 2016, accusing him of raping a call centre woman employee.
Malik was undergoing trial in the case. But on March 13, 2018, Chandigarh Police arrested another auto driver, Irfan Mohammad, in another rape case. His accomplice, Kamal Hassan, who is also Irfan’s cousin, was arrested a day later. Although they were arrested for the case wherein they had allegedly raped a Dehradun woman in November 2017, during interrogation, they confessed to having raped another woman in December 2016 as well. The police then arrested both Irfan and Kamal, whose DNA samples also matched with the swabs of the victim who also identified the duo during the Test Identification Parade.
Chandigarh Police had then filed a plea for withdrawing the case against Malik. And after getting the nod from the UT Administration, its approval was sent to the court. The court official told Malik that he had been acquitted and he could leave. Tears welled up in the eyes of Malik’s mother Mustari Begum when she was informed about her son’s release. “I knew my son has not committed anything wrong and he will be free from this. For the past one-and-a-half years, we have just been making efforts to get our son free of the charges,” she said.
On Friday, Malik, his mother and elder brother were in court.