A Delhi court on Tuesday discharged Islamic preacher Maulana Anzar Shah Qasmi, who was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell for his alleged links to an al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) module. During charge proceedings, Additional Sessions Judge Siddhartha Sharma discharged Qasmi stating that there was “not sufficient evidence” against him.
The other accused in the case — Mohammad Asif, Abdul Rehman and Zafar Masood — were charged under sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
The case dates back to December 2015, when the main accused Asif (41) was arrested from Delhi’s Seelampur flyover where he had allegedly gone to meet a contact. Hailing from UP’s Sambhal district, he was purportedly sent to India by al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri for recruiting youths for AQIS. Three mobile phones, a laptop and other incriminating articles were seized from his possession, Delhi Police Special Cell had said. Based on his inputs, Qasmi was arrested.
Qasmi’s advocate M S Khan said that evidence against Qasmi was fabricated and hence he was discharged.
“It was alleged that Qasmi had met Asif and that a letter was supplied to him for recruiting members of AQIS. Police had said that the meeting with Asif was based on a testimony of an eyewitness who could not prove the meeting in the court. Qasmi did not know the other accused and the police could not recover the letter being given to him.”
Khan said the police had also alleged that Qasmi had been giving sermons asking people to join AQIS, which was not proved. “There was not enough evidence to substantiate this claim,” he added.