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Sunday, May 22, 2022

‘Cops took him for work, he never came back for nine years’

Shahid was one of the 77 accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case in which 26 bombs went off, killing 56 people and injuring over 200 others.

Written by Vaibhav Jha | Ahmedabad |
Updated: February 9, 2022 9:18:22 am
Outside the sessions court, Bhadra. (Express Photo: Nirmal Harindran)

Abdul Hamid, 62, a resident of Nagori Mohalla in Ujjain of Madhya Pradesh, still remembers the afternoon of May 3 in 2013 when police picked up his son Shahid, a fabrication worker, on a tip from the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS).

“The policemen told Shahid that they needed him to do some fabrication work for the police personnel and asked him to get his measuring equipment. He has not returned home for nine years now,” said Hamid standing outside the Ahmedabad City Civil and Sessions Court in the Bhadra area of Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

Shahid was one of the 77 accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case in which 26 bombs went off, killing 56 people and injuring over 200 others.

According to the chargesheet, Nagori was accused to be a “top recruiter” for the Indian Mujahideen, a banned terrorist organisation, where his alleged task was “to lure young people into it”.

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On Tuesday, the special court acquitted him of all charges along with 27 other accused. Shahid’s family arrived from Ujjain to Ahmedabad Tuesday morning, after their advocate informed them that the verdict was to be announced.

Hamid, a tailor by profession, spoke to The Indian Express claiming that in the past nine years, he ran from pillar to post, approached MP High Court and Supreme Court as well as politicians to fight for the acquittal of his son.

“The Madhya Pradesh police took my son and did not produce him at the Nilganga police station, instead they showed his arrest at Madhav Nagar police station. We were told of his arrest a day later when we approached the collector,” said Hamid.

“He has two daughters aged 13 and 11 years who have not seen their father for eight years. I met him at the Sabarmati Central Jail three months ago when he got tuberculosis. We took him to a private hospital for treatment because the police could only take him to civil hospital. He is 36 years old now,” said Hamid.

Shahid’s uncle Abdul Wahid, said, “Police accused Shahid of attending terror training camps in Wagamon of Kerala. He has never been to Kerala and we don’t even understand Malayalam. Then how can he take part in a training camp there? He had a rented fabrication shop where he worked all day. His only fault is that his name was Shahid and there were multiple accused in the blasts case with the same name.”

His father intervened saying, “Shahid was very close to his family. Even if he had to leave his house and go to the shop, he used to tell me that he will return in two hours. I have never seen him engaged in any other activity than his work.”

Waiting outside the court was Haidar Nagori, younger brother of Safdar Nagori (52), the former general secretary of banned terror organisation Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who was one of the 49 convicted in the blasts case. Nagori has already been convicted for life imprisonment by a court in Indore in 2017 for indulging in terrorist activities and is lodged at Bhopal Central Prison.

Nagori was seen distributing pamphlets outside the court premises to journalists and other citizens claiming innocence on behalf of his brother.

“My brother was picked up illegally by the MP police in March 2008. I have come today to request people to read his statement which he submitted to the special judge overseeing the case,” said Nagori.

In his written submission, Safdar Nagori has claimed that he was picked up in March 2008 along with 12 other Muslim men accused of terror activities. “As the BJP led Madhya Pradesh government was facing strong anti-incumbency… and hence were searching for any emotive issue to change the election course. In this backdrop, I was made a scapegoat,” the statement said.

 

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