MOMENTS AFTER a city court discharged a man from Belgaum, Karnataka, arrested in an ostensible instance of wrong identity for alleged involvement in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case, the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) sent him home Tuesday evening.
A team of DCB officials got the accused, Nasir Rangrez, alias Parvez, freed from Sabarmati Central Jail here and sent him off to the city’s Kalupur railway station.
The Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested Nasir from his home in Belgaum on June 19.
Earlier in the day, a metropolitan magistrate accepted the discharge application submitted by the DCB, which stated that there was no evidence against Nasir, a small-time businessman, in the case and, therefore, should be discharged. The court accepted the application and ordered his release.
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“The court’s order came around 5 pm, and DCB officials told us they will take him to the railway station. Rangrez, too, wanted to reach home at the earliest,” his lawyer M M Sheikh said.
Rangrez’s name had figured in the statement of an accused – Hafiz, alias Adnan – recorded by the DCB on September 24, 2009. Hafiz had told the police that Nasir had participated in the terror training camp at Wagamon, Kerala, in December 2007. Subsequently, a local court issued an arrest warrant against him.
“Being in the list of wanted, the ATS arrested him from Belgaum. He was taken into custody by DCB,” Sheikh said. “After verifying Hafiz’s statement, the DCB came to the conclusion that there was no evidence against him.”
Assistant Commissioner of Police, DCB, C N Rajput, had filed the discharge application in the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court stating that “during custodial interrogation of the accused, no information about his involvement in the offence came out”. The application also mentioned that Nasir did not attend the camps at Wagamon, as was alleged.
On July 24, 2008, 56 people were killed and more than 200 injured in a series of blasts in Ahmedabad. The DCB had chargesheeted 75 people in the case, all alleged to be members of SIMI and Indian Mujahideen.