A Special Investigation Team set up to probe allegations of murder of LeT terrorist Shaikh Abdul Naeem Karim, who is an accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that he had not been murdered as alleged by his family but absconded in connivance with the West Bengal Police.
A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was hearing a petition filed by Naeem’s mother, Qamar Nasreen Karim, denying claims of the Chhattisgarh police that Naeem had absconded and alleging that he was killed in custody.
In an earlier order, the High Court had directed Director General of Police, Chhattisgarh and the ATS chiefs of West Bengal and Maharashtra to assist Joint Director of CBI Chhattisgarh, who would head the SIT, to trace the whereabouts of Naeem.
Advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, appearing for the SIT, submitted a probe report to the court. “According to the probe by SIT, the accused is alive and had absconded in connivance with the West Bengal police. An FIR was registered against the concerned police officers. Further probe is on,” he said.
According to the Chhattisgarh police, Naeem had escaped from their custody in 2014 when he was being brought to Mumbai to be produced before a special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court in connection with the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, in which Naeem is an accused.
However, Nasreen in her petition has alleged that her son was killed in custody and sought a CBI probe in the case.
The court, after perusing the report, sought to know what would be done if the accused had fled to Bangladesh. Venegaonkar said that extradition proceedings would be initiated if this is established. The court posted the petition for further hearing on January 16, 2017, and said the SIT shall continue its probe.