ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Shahid Azmi

It was the seventh day of police custody and though the initial beatings had settled down to 22 odd hours of daily questioning, I was feeling my defences grow weary. Police inspector Khanvilkar (arrested recently for graft) and other similarly corrupt officers of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) were bragging over the quantity of Muslim blood each had spilt in that very interrogation room. Just as my nausea at their brand of competitive patriotism threatened to spill over, I was called for vakil mulaakat (lawyer visit), sanctioned by the court.

As we finished talking, my lawyer pointed an introduction to the dim corridor outside, “Advocate Shahid Azmi”. The ATS, having, on some technical ground, refused him permission to meet me, rushed forward to block communication. Our eyes met momentarily in shy smiles and soundless greetings.

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