‘School attack’ plan: Techie seeks discharge from case

The session court had recently rejected Ansari’s bail observing that he was a “well-educated” person and was likely to abscond if released on bail.

Written by Meghna Yelluru | Mumbai | Published: September 7, 2015 2:21 am

The 24-year-old techie, who was arrested for planning an attack on an American school in the city, has sought to be discharged from the case being heard by a sessions court. In all, four charges have been brought against Anees Ansari — creating a fake identity on Facebook by misusing computers owned by his employers, conversing with a friend and wanted accused Omar Elhajj on Facebook about supporting ISIS’s terrorist activities, conspiring with Elhajj to attempt a lone wolf attack on the American school, and sending offensive messages to his Facebook friends via WhatsApp.

According to his discharge application, the entire chargesheet against Ansari has nothing on record to suggest that any preparation was made by him the accused the offence. It said “merely thinking” any such thing was not an offence.

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Referring to the chats arraigned as evidence against Ansari, the discharge application said the chargesheet did not contain any legally admissible prima facie material that could be converted into evidence against Ansari. The appeal also went on to allege that Ansari was falsely implicated by the investigation officer at the behest of another superior officer in the present matter.

The session court had recently rejected Ansari’s bail observing that he was a “well-educated” person and was likely to abscond if released on bail. The sessions judge had also ascertained that Ansari was part of the organisation abroad, as he read about the “Islamic History of Spain” on his office computer.

An incriminating conversation between a certain Usayrim Logan and Omar Elhajj spanning nearly two hours on October 13, 2014, has been included in the 728-page chargesheet, claiming that Ansari used the alias Usayrim Logan. The techie, however, claimed that he had been falsely implicated in the case and that he was made to sign on the printout of the Facebook pages “under threats issued by the investigating agency”.

Arguing for Ansari’s bail, the defence lawyer had claimed that he was not the purported accused in the chargesheet and was not the one chatting with Elhajj.

The discharge application also contended that surfing the internet on the computer provided by the owner did not fall under the ambit of the charge of “misusing official computers”. The prosecution is likely to file reply to the discharge appeal on September 10.

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