THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) is set to conduct a voice sample test on a Bijnor blast accused, Husna (38), who has been arrested for allegedly helping six SMI operatives to stay in the district on fake identity before an explosion occurred in their rented accommodation in 2013.
The agency has procured the court’s permission for the voice test to ascertain the alleged telephonic conversation between Husna and one of the SIMI operatives after the blast. The UP Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), before the investigation was transferred to the NIA, had put Husna’s cellphone number on surveillance and recorded her conversations soon after the blast took place.
The blast had occurred in a room rented by SIMI operatives on fake identity in Kotwali area of Bijnor on September 12, 2013. One of the SIMI men, Sheikh Mehboob, had suffered injuries in the blast, which had allegedly occurred while a bomb was being assembled. Husna is accused of providing logistic support to the operatives, all of whom were killed in separate police encounters later.
The development comes at a time when the NIA is awaiting the forensic lab report to ascertain whether the six operatives killed in encounters were the same SIMI men involved in the blast, as had been identified by the Madhya Pradesh ATS, on the basis of CCTV footages collected from Bijnor. “After the blast, the ATS had found Husna regularly speaking to one of the six SIMI men, who had escaped after the blast. The ATS had later arrested Husna and four other residents of Bijnor city for helping the operatives, allegedly in lieu of money,” said an NIA officer.
“As all the six men had died in encounters, we have decided to conduct a voice sample test on Husna to match the recorded telephonic conversations. We had moved an application in the designated court in Lucknow, seeking permission for the same. The court gave its nod three days ago. We will move another application in the court, seeking permission to take the accused to the forensic science laboratory in Lucknow for the test,” the officer added.
Among the six operatives, while Mohammad Aizazuddin (30) and Mohammad Aslam (26) were killed in a police encounter in Telangana in April, 2015, Sheikh Mehboob alias Guddu alias Malik (25), Amzad alias Pappu alias Daud (25), Zakir Hussain alias Sadiq (32) and Mohammad Salik alias Sallu were killed in an encounter by Madhya Pradesh Police in October, 2016. Besides Mohammad Salik, others had escaped from Khandwa jail in 2013.
The ATS had arrested Husna, her younger brother Nadeem, Raees, his son Abdulla and one Furqan from Bijnor. All are lodged in the Lucknow District Jail on charges of providing shelter and logistic help to the six SIMI operatives. The ATS had also claimed to have recovered around
Rs 9 lakh from the possession of these accused. It had also filed chargesheet against all the accused. In April, 2015, the NIA had taken over the investigation.