THE COURT of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Muzaffarnagar Monday ordered for the release of Mohammad Asif and his brother Arshad who were arrested for the alleged abduction of a 23-year-old woman from Shamli, days after she told the court she had married Asif of her own will and was not kidnapped, police officials said.
The allegations that the woman, a Hindu who now identifies herself as Aksa Rani, was abducted had led to a mahapanchayat in Shamli on December 25 where alleged hate speeches were delivered in the presence of BJP and Congress leaders, and local Bajrang Dal and VHP activists, causing tension in the area and registration of FIRs by the police.
On January 1 (Friday), however, the woman who was traced by the police in Delhi and brought back to Shamli along with Asif after reported missing since December 1, recorded her statement before the CJM, rejecting allegations of her abduction.
Investigating Officer Sub-Inspector Dushyant Rana said, “After going through the woman’s statement, we have found that it is in favour of the accused and does not support the FIR lodged by her grandfather. The woman has also withdrawn the statement she had given to the police (in which it was alleged that she was taken to Delhi by the accused on the pretext of giving her a job).”
“On Monday I moved an application before the CJM court in Muzaffarnagar under Section 169 of the CrPC (release of accused when evidence deficient) to discharge Mohammad Asif and his brother Mohammad Arshad. The court accepted the application and ordered for their release,” the investigating officer said.
The woman had earlier spoken to The Indian Express about her statement. “I have told the court that I had gone with Asif on my own and that I would be happy only with Asif.” She had added that she has “embraced Islam” and that her “nikaah was performed with Asif at a mosque in Shamli (some time in September-October last year)”.
The Shamli police, meanwhile, have also secured release of jailed Acharya Jasveer Maharaj’s nephew Jitendra through a separate application. Police found that Jitendra, arrested on charges of Section 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the IPC, “did not deliver any speech at the mahapanchayat”, investigating officer in this case, Sub-Inspector Harpal Singh said.
“Since no evidence was found against him, I moved an application requesting for his release. The court allowed the application,” he said. Acharya, however, continues to remain in the Muzaffarnagar district jail for his alleged hate speech and with the National Security Act that the police have invoked against him. On the other hand, the three others, brother-duo Asif and Arshad and Jitendra, are all set for release.