CHANDIGARH: Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar, a former member of parliament, Monday met Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil and sought his intervention for the early release of Pakistani academician Saiyyad Mohammad Khaleel Chishty.
Chishty, 80, a former professor of virology in Karachi, was convicted in a murder case in Rajasthan’s Ajmer and was sentenced to life imprisonment in January 2011. He is at present lodged in Ajmer jail.
Patil is also the officiating governor of Rajasthan.
“Chishty is suffering since 1992. He had come to Ajmer in 1992 to look after his ailing mother. Some dispute with a neighbour took place and one person lost his life,” Nayar told reporters here Monday.
“Many people were involved in that incident and Chishty was also arrested by the police,” he said.
“His trial ran for nearly 20 years and all this while, though he was out of jail on bail, Chishty could not go to his home in Pakistan. Now he is an old man suffering from various ailments. He cannot even walk without help. So, we have met Patil requesting for Chishty’s release on humanitarian grounds,” he added.
Nayar said that the Indian constitution gives the governor powers under Article 161 to grant pardon as well as to suspend, remit or commute the sentence of people convicted of offences.
Nayar and Bhatt had also met union Home Minister P. Chidambaram Sunday to discuss the matter.
Bhatt said: “Patil was very considerate and he already knew about this matter. He said that he will try to solve this issue at the earliest on the basis of its merits. Besides our own memorandum, we have also submitted an appeal that was sent by Amna Chishty, Khaleel’s daughter, from Canada.”