Released scientist back home

Chisti was sentenced to life imprisonment in India

Gulf News

Karachi: The Pakistani scientist, who was sentenced to life imprisonment and was detained for 20 years in India in a murder case and was set free last week, has reached home here.

Dr Khalil Chisti, a virologist, was caught in a family feud while he was visiting his ancestral village in Rajasthan in 1992. He was implicated in a murder case and sentenced by a court to life imprisonment which he served partially in jail and largely in confinement in his village in India.

Under the ongoing peace dialogue, the Indian government arranged Dr Chisti’s release on parole in May this year as a goodwill gesture so that the octogenarian doctor could see his family in Karachi.

The jubilant doctor met his family after 20 years but he had to go back to India to pursue his appeal in the Indian Supreme Court.

Chisti was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing a man during a brawl at the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, India, in April 1992. He was awarded life imprisonment in 2010 after a trial which lasted 18 years.

Last Wednesday, the Supreme Court of India ordered Dr Chisti’s release.

The apex court has said that the punishment given to him will be considered undergone. He had challenged the life imprisonment given to him for a murder.

The Indian apex court directed authorities to return all Chisti’s documents, including his passport. He was free to return to Pakistan without any restrictions.

“Finally the 20-year legal battle is over,” Dr Chisti said talking to media at his after he arrival here through the Wagah border, near Lahore.

“Now I have got a new life and that I would spend it with my family,” he said.

Chisti also appreciated the efforts of the Indian and Pakistani governments for getting him release after he got sentenced to life.

“This is a historic event that a man is sentenced for murder and finally set free with the efforts of the two governments,” he said.