The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Victim of a ‘dirty game’

New Delhi, Jan. 13: If he was bitter, the rancour didn’t show. Instead, it was a philosophical man who stepped out of the courtroom after seven months of ordeal.

Asked whether he would seek compensation from the government, Iftikar Geelani said the greatest compensation was the freedom he got. “Individual freedom is the greatest compensation,” the Kashmir Times journalist said after he was discharged by a city court this afternoon.

“The last seven months have been a unique example in itself. It’s a lesson for everybody to learn. The way (the) prosecution handled the case. The way a few journalists bought the prosecution theory without cross-checking the facts,” he said while being taken back to custody. He was arrested on June 10.

Asked if he would go to Kashmir or stay in Delhi, Geelani said he has been staying here for the last 10 years. He has two sons.

In a written statement, Geelani said he was grateful to the political leadership “to see through the dirty and cruel game the Intelligence Bureau played against me with the help of some bureaucrats”. He also regretted that the military intelligence was unnecessarily dragged into a controversy.

Although he said he was agonised that his “integrity, honesty and patriotism were questioned”, Geelani hoped no other journalist or human being goes through the trauma he had to suffer at the hands of the government.

His wife Aneesa thanked those who have stood by them. “I always knew that my husband is innocent and a law-abiding citizen and he will certainly get justice one day.”

Her only hope is Geelani, who also worked for the Pakistan-based Daily Times, resumes normal life, “forgetting the bad patch in his life which he managed to overcome with the grace of Allah”.

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