India is a “far better” place for Muslims than any other Islamic country – said Abdul Qayyum Mansuri, the man who was wrongly branded as a terrorist and was sentenced to death after the 2002 Akshardham temple attack. After spending 11 years in prison for a crime that he had not committed, Mansuri was acquitted by the Supreme Court in May 2014.
But his words displayed his love and respect for India at a recent event organized in his honour. “No Muslim is feeling ashamed of living in India,” he said.
The function was organized on Sunday by a private trust named Sarvoday Youth Welfare Society. It was meant to honour him and dedicate a diary to him. For 27 years, the trust has been dedicating its diary to a prominent personality.
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“When a prisoner is freed from jail, his past always haunts him. It was more of Hindu friends and lawyers who defended and supported me more than the Muslims,” he added.
Mansuri also said that he would be willing to offer his services to people from all religions and communities.
After being acquitted, he had written a book called 11 Years Behind the Bars, detailing his experiences and how security agencies tried to play with the law for their interests. According to the book, he was asked to choose from three terror attack cases including the Godhra train burning, Akshardham Temple attack, and Haren Pandya murder.
In spite of such harsh experiences, Mansuri’s faith in India is intact, and his words can be a source of inspiration for many.