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After 8 years in prison, three ‘HuJI operatives’ acquitted

Citing “lack of evidence”, a Lucknow court on Thursday acquitted three alleged HuJI operatives, who were arrested in 2007 on charges of waging war against the country and under the Explosives Act.

A woman judge, who is also of the same rank, had alleged harassment by her male colleague Rajesh Chauhan during a three-day national conference. The police had then declared him a Pakistan-trained HuJI operative who used to supply RDX across the country and had also claimed that he was planning to carry out subversive activities in the state capital.

Citing “lack of evidence”, a Lucknow court on Thursday acquitted three alleged HuJI operatives, who were arrested in 2007 on charges of waging war against the country and under the Explosives Act.

State government counsel Mithilesh Kumar Singh said Special Judge Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi acquitted the three — Yakoob, Jalaluddin and Naushad (lodged in Lucknow District Jail since their arrest) — for want of evidence after examining eight witnesses from the prosecution side and four from defence.

While Yakoob and Naushad belong to Bijnor district, Jalaluddin hails from West Bengal’s South-24 Parganas district.

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Defence lawyer A M Faridi said all four defence witnesses have stated that Yakoob was caught by the Special Task Force (STF) from Nagina bus stand in Bijnor on June 9, 2007. The STF, however, claimed to have arrested Yakoob from Lucknow’s Charbagh area on June 21.

Since Yakoob has no other case pending against him, he would be released from jail, Faridi added.

Naushad and Jalaluddin, on the other hand, would remain in jail as they have two cases and a single case, respectively, still pending against them, said advocate Mohammad Shoaib who represents both the accused.

In 2013, the state government had moved an application to withdraw the case against Yakoob but it could not be entertained as the high court stayed the move while hearing a PIL.

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According to the prosecution, the STF had arrested Yakoob alias Shakir alias Lambu (36) carrying explosives from Charbagh on June 21, 2007.

The police had then declared him a Pakistan-trained HuJI operative who used to supply RDX across the country and had also claimed that he was planning to carry out subversive activities in the state capital.

The police had claimed to have recovered 4 kg RDX, timer, battery and detonator from his possession.

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Two separate cases were registered at the Hussainganj police station in this regard.

First published on: 07-08-2015 at 05:02 IST
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