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Lucknow: Court grants ‘benefit of doubt’, acquits 6 HuJI men 8 yrs after arrest

The STF also claimed to have arrested three from Bengal in the same month, while another, Noor Islam, was arrested next month. The explosives, too, were recovered from Mohanlalganj.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow |
Updated: December 25, 2015 10:54:23 pm

Eight years after six alleged Harkat-ul-Jihadi Al-Islami (HuJI) operatives were arrested on charges of anti-national activities in Lucknow and explosives recovered from their possession, a local court here Thursday acquitted them giving them “benefit of doubt”. All were lodged in Lucknow district jail since after their arrest in 2007.

“Special Judge Syed Aftab Husain Rizvi acquitted the six persons giving them benefit of doubt today,” government counsel M K Singh confirmed. Singh said the court examined 23 prosecution and three defense witnesses during the course of trial.

While one of the acquitted — Naushad Hafiz — belongs to Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh, others, including Mukhtar Hussain, Mohammad Ali Akbar, Aziz-ur-Rehman, Jalaluddin alias Babu Bhai and Noor Islam, are from West Bengal.

Babu Bhai was an alleged HuJI area commander during the time of his arrest. Since no other case is pending against him in UP, he would now be sent to West Bengal where he faces trial in two cases. All others will remain lodged in Lucknow jail to face trial in a case related to alleged raising of anti-national slogans when brought to Lucknow court for a hearing in 2008.

As per the prosecution, UP Special Task Force (STF) had arrested Naushad and Babu on June 23, 2007 from Lucknow’s Wazirganj. The STF had claimed that the duo along with Mukhtar Hussain, Mohammad Ali Akbar and Aziz-ur-Rehman had come from Bengal to indulge in “anti-national activities”. While waiting for Naushad and Babu Bhai at Charbagh station, others learnt that the duo have been arrested. They then buried 10 hand grenades, 10 detonators and other explosives near a construction site in Mohanlalganj and returned to Bengal, it had claimed.

The STF also claimed to have arrested three from Bengal in the same month, while another, Noor Islam, was arrested next month. The explosives, too, were recovered from Mohanlalganj.

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