Farooq Ahmed Khan Photo: Uzma Falak
Farooq Ahmed Khan Photo: Uzma Falak

In search of lost time

A chronicle of a Kashmiri man acquitted after more than 18 years of incarceration.

Farooq's eyes are red from lack of sleep. His hands look cold and withered. In the initial moments of our meeting, only the sound of the rain outside and the porcelain cups we are sipping tea from breach the silence in the room. He is constantly fiddling with his thumbs. I notice a half-chipped-off finger nail. A teenage boy sits silently holding a portable video camera pointed towards us, which makes me uneasy. "He is my nephew. Since my release, he hasn't turned off his camera," he says with a mild, comforting laugh. It is around three weeks after Farooq's acquittal on 29 September 2014.

Farooq Ahmed Khan spent 18 years and four months in various Indian prisons, mostly in solitary confinement.

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Himal Southasian