January 19, 2015 9:12:05 pm
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and home minister K J George on Monday assured a delegation of citizens from the coastal Karnataka town of Bhatkal that the Bangalore police had not framed any innocent person from the town in a terrorism probe against the Indian Mujahideen.
The assurances from the Karnataka government came in the wake of a delegation of citizens from Bhatkal meeting the chief minister and the home minister to express concern that innocent persons may have been arrested in the course of an investigation of a terror module by the police.
Since January 8 the Bangalore police have arrested four persons from Bhatkal for allegedly aiding the Indian Mujahideen terror outfit in procuring explosives for blasts in the country.
On January 8 based on intelligence inputs police raided houses in Bangalore and Bhatkal and arrested three persons Syed Ismail Afaque, 34, a homeopathy doctor, Saddam Hussein, 35, a scrap dealer and Abdus Subur, 24, an MBA student. On January 10 the police arrested a fourth person Riyaz Ahmed Syeedi, 32, at the Mangalore airport while he was waiting to fly to Dubai where he was employed. Police have seized nearly four kg of ammonium nitrate explosives and bomb circuitry from the accused in the course of the arrests.
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Residents of Bhatkal and the families of the accused have raised concerns over the arrests stating that the police did not conduct the raids on the residences of the accused in the presence of independent witnesses as required by law.
“Our police have arrested persons involved in terror activities. We have not framed anybody in the case. The charge sheet in the case will reveal their roles in the coming days,” home minister George said on Monday. The home minister said that more details could not be revealed since investigations into the case is still underway. The Bangalore city police followed rules while conducting raids in Bhatkal and during the seizure of explosives and other materials from the residences of the accused, he said.
A delegation comprising people from many organisations in Bhatkal met him on Monday alleging that the people of Bhatkal were being tarnished as terrorists by the police investigations, he said.
The delegation pointed out that Saddam Hussein, 35, a scrap dealer, who was among those arrested by the police was a poor man whose family was dependent on him for their daily needs. Though the family is in dire need of financial assistance no one was coming forward from fear of police action, the delegation informed the home minister.
“I told them clearly that anyone or any organization can help Hussein’s family meet their needs. We have no issues with it. The police will not arrest any innocent person. But it will not spare any one involved in anti-social or terrorist activities,” George said.
Bangalore city police commissioner MN Reddi meanwhile said that the police had followed the law while seizing explosives from the terror suspects in Bhatkal. “We followed the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act during the raid. We have five witnesses to the seizures. We used some government servants as witnesses in the case. The police usually does this in terror related and other important cases,” Reddi said.
The home minister said that police investigations into the Church Street blast case of December 28 had not yielded any results as yet. Around 200 policemen team are investigating the case and details of the investigation would be revealed when police achieve a major break through, George said.
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