Six months after the arrest of four terror suspects who had allegedly plotted attacks at multiple locations, UP’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is still awaiting prosecution sanction from the state government. The suspects, who were arrested in April, are lodged in the Lucknow district jail. Recently arrested terror suspect Abu Zaid (37) is allegedly an associate of the group. On Tuesday, Zaid was produced in a Lucknow court, which sent him to four days’ police custody remand.
In a joint operation involving police teams from six states, Umar alias Nazim Shamsad Ahmed, the alleged group leader, Zeeshan alias Ghazi Baba alias Muzammil, Faizan alias Mufti and Ahtesham alias SK alias Pinto, were arrested in April.
While Nazim was arrested from Mumbai, Zeeshan was caught in Jalandhar, Faizan in Bijnor, and Ahtesham in Bihar.
An FIR was lodged with the ATS in Lucknow under IPC sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 121 A (punishment for waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India), 122 (collecting arms etc. with intention of waging war against the Government of India), 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) and 153 B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national-integration) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The agency claimed that the group could not execute an attack because explosives and weapons which they had already paid for could not be delivered.
ATS investigated the case and filed a chargesheet against the four accused in a Lucknow court in September without obtaining prosecution sanction. However, the court has yet to take cognisance of it.
Investigation officer of the case, DySP of ATS Anoop Singh said, “I have sent a letter to the state government seeking prosecution sanction against the accused under IPC 122 and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in September. We are waiting for sanction.”
Mohammad Shoaib, a lawyer representing the accused, said, “The court where chargesheet has been filed is yet to take cognizance of it. We have not applied for bail of any of the four accused so far.”