Dr Khalil Chishty’s family clemency appeal for his release.

It was an emotional moment for Dr Khalil Chishty’s family when they addressed the media in Ajmer, to appeal for his release. Sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case in January this year, the octogenarian was barred from leaving India during the trial, which dragged on for more than 19 years. 
Mehrunissa Chishty, the doctor’s wife, wept as she appealed to the Indian president and the Rajasthan governor to sign the mercy petition and let her husband leave for Pakistan. Mehrunissa has almost lost hearing in both her ears from trauma.
Her daughter, Shoa Jawaid said their father had travelled all over the world and finally chose to settle in Karachi after retirement, when he was embroiled in a murder case in India.
Jawaid appealed to the media, which she said had raised the issue so vociferously in India, to once again advocate for her father’s release so that he could be with his family.
Mehrunissa, Jawaid and the doctor’s grandson, Syed Ali Chishty, are on a month-long visit from Karachi. Another daughter, Tasneema, who is married to an Indian and lives in the UAE, was also present with her two children.
A famous virologist, Dr Chishty has developed several ailments and could not even walk to present himself before the court when he was sentenced.
A Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju petitioned the prime minister of India on Dr Chishty’s behalf. The appeal for clemency was routed through the Indian home ministry to Governor Rajasthan Shivraj Patil, which is where it rests at present.
Reminiscing about his grandfather, 25-year-old Ali said his grandfather taught him how to read and write.
Now, that he has become a chartered accountant, it breaks his heart to see that his first teacher is not there to see him, Ali said.
Meeting foreign prisoners in jail is an arduous process for foreigners but the family said they received clearance to visit Dr Chishty in jail.
Kavita Srivastava and Anant Bhatagar of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan, which has been working to secure Dr Chishty’s freedom, asked the government to expedite the process so that he can go home with his family.

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