The state government has informed a Gorakhpur court that there was insufficient evidence against alleged HuJI operative Tariq Qasmi in connection with the 2007 serial blasts in Gorakhpur and his conviction was,therefore,not possible.
The statement has been made in an affidavit filed by assistant district government counsel S N Pandey in the court where the government had on May 22 filed an application for withdrawal of the case against Qasmi. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has since stayed the process of withdrawal of cases.
In his affidavit,Pandey furnished five reasons why the case against Tariq should be withdrawn in the interest of justice.
Lodged in the Lucknow District Jail,Tariq faces charges under the Explosives Act,7 Criminal Law Amendment Act,and attempt to murder.
A Unani doctor at Azamgarh,Qasmi is also facing trial for serial blasts in the courts of Faizabad and Lucknow on November 23,2007.
In his affidavit,Pandey said Tariq was named in the case after his name cropped up during police investigation but his conviction did not seem possible on the basis of the evidence collected by investigating officer.
Pandey also informed that the state government had formed the RD Nimesh Inquiry Commission to look into the arrest of Tariq and another co-accused,Khalid Mujahid. The commission,in its report,had stated that Tariqs arrest was suspicious.
The UP polices Special Task Force had arrested Qasmi and Mujahid of Jaunpur outside the Barabanki railway station on December 20,2007,and claimed to have seized 1.250 kg RDX,six detonators,three cellphones and two SIM cards. Both were booked for the court blasts. Later,the police claimed it had found Qasmis involvement in the Gorakhpur blast and filed the chargesheet against him.
On May 22,2007,three blasts had occurred at different places in an interval of five minutes in Gorakhpur. The police found involvement of alleged IM operatives Salman alias Chottu,Saif and Mirza Shadab Beig. Saif and Salman have been arrested and are lodged in jail.
Qasmis co-accused Khalid Mujahid died last month while being taken to Lucknow jail after a court appearance in Faizabad.