Evidence not believable, court said in case linked to 3 of killed SIMI men

Coming down harshly on Madhya Pradesh police and the investigating officers, the court acquitted one of them, Akeel Khilji, under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Written by Kaunain Sheriff M | Khandwa | Updated: November 5, 2016 4:07 am
SIMI, simi operatives, simi encounter, bhopal jail outbreak, jail outbreak, simi jail outbreak, Khandwa court, madhya pradesh, shivraj singh chouhan, india news, indian express, indian express news Mourners at the residence of Akeel Khilji in Khandwa on Thursday. Kaunain Sheriff M

MORE THAN a year before eight SIMI activists were killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Bhopal Monday, a Khandwa court held that the evidence in a 2011 case against three of them was “not believable”. Coming down harshly on Madhya Pradesh police and the investigating officers, the court acquitted one of them, Akeel Khilji, under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The other two, Amzad Ramzan Khan and Mohammed Saliq, had been declared “proclaimed offenders” by then.

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In its judgment, the court also questioned the jurisdiction of the investigation officer to carry out the probe under UAPA, and pulled up police for not sending key pieces of evidence for forensic analysis. Khilji was arrested on June 13, 2011 — on charges of causing enmity between religions and under the UAPA — and acquitted on September 30, 2015.

The court had also acquitted Abdullah, the brother of Zakir Hussain who was also killed in Monday’s encounter, and Khilji’s son Mohammad Jaleel in the same case, under various sections of UAPA and IPC sections 153(A), pertaining to “promoting enmity between two groups”; 153(B) relating to imputations and assertions deemed harmful to national integration; and, 124 (A) on sedition.

The last rites of four of the eight SIMI activists killed this week were conducted in Khilji’s house in Khandwa on Thursday. Khilji had been awaiting trial in Bhopal’s Central Jail after being charged in at least three cases — two under the UAPA and another “for promoting enmity”.

According to the police chargesheet in the 2011 case, Khilji and “10-15” other members of SIMI had “assembled at Khilji’s house and conspired to carry out a big attack”. The police had raided Khilji’s house on June 13 and recovered “SIMI literature” and CDs from the house that were termed as “provocative”.

After a four-year trial, the Khandwa court had acquitted all the accused charged under the UAPA. Referring to a witness, the judgment by additional sessions judge Avnindra Kumar Singh read: “Hardev Singh Gaur has deposed that when he reached the site, he heard voices saying ‘Jihad Jari Rahega’ (Jihad will continue). Irrespective of whether they are captured, they have to carry out such an act so that nobody will dare arrest a SIMI member. If a SIMI member is arrested or apprehended, then we will spread terror…

“He also deposes that a pamphlet, dated March 29, talks about a Russian intelligence report to destroy Muslims…However, Gaur’s claim of having heard all this at Akeel’s house has not been supported by another witness. When a large police force was with him, it’s obvious that Gaur would not be the only person to have heard these voices from inside. Therefore, the claims of provocative talk in support of SIMI does not seem believable.”

On purported SIMI literature and “provocative” CDs submitted by police, the court ruled, “The evidence produced before the court is not clear whether it supports or contradicts the message and picture in the CD. There is no evidence to establish what was the message in the CD. In case of a book, especially objectionable text or conversation, if the entire context is laid out along with the evidence, then it cannot be concluded these are objectionable or provocative towards society, religion or nation. They might be provocative in nature, but the prosecution has not presented any clear evidence in this regard.”

The court also observed that the investigating officer did not have sufficient powers to probe the case.
“The witness (investigation officer) also agrees… that he does not have power to deal with UAPA. However, senior officials asked him to carry out the initial investigation, after which it can be handed over the seniors. Therefore, it seems that the investigation was out of his jurisdiction,” the court said.

The court also criticised police for not sending the CDs and literature — two key pieces of evidence — for forensic analysis. “In the interest of justice, the court can ask for additional evidence or ask for the CD to be played again in court. But it would not be appropriate to get the text in Urdu or Arabic translated again at this stage, or the CD to be played when it has not been examined by the FSL (Forensic Science Laboratory)… So it can be observed that the prosecution does not have any specific word, picture, spoken or written word, to support its case,” the court said.

In the same case, the court convicted three other accused — Babloo, Altaf and Raqeeb, all residents of Khandwa — under sections of the Explosives Act. According to police, Khilji was among the eight SIMI activists who escaped from the Central Jail on Monday after killing a head constable by slitting his throat using spoons and steel plates, and tying up another guard before crossing a wall using a rope made of bedsheets. The eight were gunned down hours later by police on the outskirts of the city.

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  1. C
    Cha cha
    Nov 5, 2016 at 3:27 am
    You didn't vote for your consution. You voted under our consution. We Hindus are secular by choice just like stan is Islamic by choice. Don't push us to become a Hindu tantra just like Porkistan became Islamic and so did Bangladesh.
    Reply
    1. G
      Gaja
      Nov 5, 2016 at 2:49 am
      Brahmins scoundrels who are from Central Asia do not belong to India.
      Reply
      1. V
        VP Joshi
        Nov 5, 2016 at 5:04 am
        Here we risk our life chasing terrorists. And the anti-national courts say there is no evidence!
        Reply
        1. C
          Cha Cha
          Nov 5, 2016 at 3:31 am
          All this nonsense before 1947 was good. But then you said Muslims cannot live with Hindus and so you divided India. You got your homeland and called it PUREland stan and made it Islamic and Islamabad as its capital. So once you got your land you have no right to stay here. You macred millions of Hindus and Sikhs in 1947 and millions of Hindu and Bengali Shia in 1971. And what have you created in Porkistan? So stop talking about living together. Hindus gave you your land about one third of India to you for 20% of the potion. So if you sta in India then give us back our land or move to your own homeland you created in Islamic Porkistan.
          Reply
          1. J
            John Joseph
            Nov 5, 2016 at 3:25 am
            All this nonsense before 1947 was good. But then you said Muslims cannot live with Hindus and so you divided India. You got your homeland and called it PUREland stan and made it Islamic and Islamabad as its capital. So once you got tournament land you have no right to stay here. You macred millions of Hindus and Sikhs in 1947 and millions of Hindu and Bengali Shia in 1971. And what have you created in Porkistan? So stop talking about living together. Hindus have you your land about one third of India to you for 20% of the potion. So if you sta in India then give us back outnumbered land.
            Reply
            1. S
              SubbuI
              Nov 5, 2016 at 5:58 am
              LET THERE BE A IMPARTIAL JUDICAL INQUIRY UNDER A SUPREME COURT JUDGE EITHER RETIRED OR PRESENT JUDGE.ALL TRUTH WILL COME OUTlt;br/gt;THE MP CHIEF MINISTER and POLICE GOONS MUST BE PROSECUTED.AND PUNISHED
              Reply
              1. S
                Sudhip Kumar
                Nov 5, 2016 at 12:05 pm
                In all the instances the Court seemed to find mere technical faults. The Court seems to have been inclined to this decision
                Reply
                1. A
                  Adrian Akau
                  Nov 5, 2016 at 12:42 am
                  The baby was thrown away with the bath water. The police covered up their actions by killing all 8 when some were innocent. The execution was for political purposes..
                  Reply
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