UP govt may withdraw cases against two 2007 blast accused

Lucknow,Faizabad court blasts * Law Dept reportedly asked to study cases pending against alleged Huji operatives Tariq Kazmi,Khalid Mujahid

Written by Bhupendra Pandey | Lucknow | Published: April 5, 2012 3:25 am

The Akhilesh Yadav government is examining the possibility of withdrawing cases against two alleged Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) operatives — Tariq Kazmi of Azamgarh and Khalid Mujahid of Jaunpur — who are accused in the 2007 Lucknow and Faizabad court blast cases.

Both are lodged in the Lucknow jail at present. They have been charge-sheeted and their trial is under way.

The Special Task Force claims to have arrested them from outside the Barabanki railway station on December 20,2007,and seized 1.250 kg RDX,six detonators,three cellphones and two SIM cards. Few days later,the STF made two more arrests,that of Sajjad-ur- Rahman and Akhtar,both from Jammu and Kashmir.

All four were accused of involvement in triggering the serial blasts in Lucknow and Faizabad district courts on November 23,2007. While the blast in Lucknow did not cause much damage,the one in Faizabad claimed five lives. A third blast took place in Varanasi.

Both Kazmi and Mujahid are facing trials in Barabanki,Faizabad and Lucknow. Tariq is also accused of conducting a recce in Gorakhpur where a blast took place on May 22 same year. He has,however,not been summoned for trial in the case.

Government sources said the Law Department had been asked to study the cases pending against Tariq and Khalid. The ATS,which is the investigating agency,will be asked to provide the details about evidence,witnesses and the court proceedings,the sources said.

During the election campaign,the Samajawadi Party had promised to free Muslim youths framed in terror cases. Kazmi’s uncle Ishtiyaq and Mujahid’s uncle Zaheer Alam said SP president Mulayam Singh Yadav had visited Azamgarh before the elections and had assured them that justice would be done.

Zaheer Alam said the local Madiyahun police stations had given in writing that Khalid was picked up from his house on December 16 while the STF showed his arrest from Barabanki on December 22. Similarly,Ishtiyaq said Tariq was picked up from Rani ki Sarai area on December 12 where he was a ‘hakim.’

Days before the police made their arrest public,both families had sent complaints to district magistrates,offices of Prime Minister and the Chief Minister and the National Human Rights Commission,complaining that the police had taken away Kazmi and Mujahid.

The BSP govenrment had set up an inquiry commission to investigate the allegations. The commission,however,did not complete its investigation.

In the Lucknow case,the court had discharged Sajjad-ur- Rahman on April 14 last year for want of evidence while the trial against other accused is on.

In the Barabanki case,some witnesses identified Tariq and Khalid and confirmed that they had seen the STF arresting them outside the railway station and that they were carrying explosives.

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