December 14, 2016 5:15:44 pm
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that suspected LeT terrorist Shaikh Abdul Naeem Karim, an accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, has not been murdered but has absconded in connivance with West Bengal Police. The high court had in September directed setting up of the SIT under the Joint Director of CBI Chhattisgarh, Director General of Police Chhattisgarh and West Bengal and Maharashtra ATS chief to probe the allegations of murder.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Naeem’s mother Qamar Nasreen Karim, who refuted claims of Chhattisgarh Police that her son had absconded and alleged he was killed in custody. Advocate Hiten Venegaonkar, appearing for the SIT, today 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 offence has been registered against the police officers concerned. Further probe is on,” he said.
According to Chhattisgarh Police, Naeem had in 2014 escaped from their custody when he was being brought to Mumbai to be produced before a special MCOCA court in connection with the 2006 Aurangabad Arms haul case, in which he is an accused. The court, after perusing the report, sought to know what would be done if the accused had fled to Bangladesh. To this, Venegaonkar said extradition proceedings would be initiated if this is established. The court posted the petition for further hearing on January 16 and said the SIT shall continue its probe.
Naeem, a resident of Aurangabad, had been in the custody of West Bengal Police. On August 25, 2014, he was being brought to Mumbai from Dum Dum prison in West Bengal by Howrah-Mumbai Express when he allegedly escaped from the running train near Raigarh railway station in Chhattisgarh.
According to authorities, Naeem jumped off somewhere between Kharsiya and Sakti stations when the train was passing through Chhattisgarh. This happened despite the fact that seven police personnel were accompanying him in the coach.
Naeem’s family, however, claimed that he was suffering from a kidney ailment that made him “physically weak” and thus, it was very unlikely that he managed to escape.
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