The Bombay High Court on Monday directed setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) under Joint Director of CBI, Chhattisgarh, to probe the allegations of murder of suspected LeT terrorist Shaikh Abdul Naeem Karim, an accused in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. A division bench of justices N H Patil and P D Naik was hearing a petition filed by Naeem’s mother Qamar Nasreen Karim, who refuted claims of the Chhattisgarh Police that Naeem had absconded and alleged that he was killed in custody.
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 Naeem is an accused. However, Nasreen, in her petition, alleged that her son was killed in custody and sought a CBI probe in the case.
The high court on Monday directed for a SIT to be formed under the supervision of Joint Director of CBI Chhattisgarh, Director General of Police Chattisgarh and West Bengal and Maharashtra ATS chief. The court directed for SIT to probe the allegations and submit its report on October 24.
Naeem, a resident of Aurangabad, had been in the custody of West Bengal Police. On August 25, 2014, he was being
brought to the Mumbai court from Dum Dum prison in WB by Howrah-Mumbai Express when he allegedly managed to escape from the running train near Raigarh Railway Station in Chhattisgarh.
According to authorities, Naeem jumped off somewhere between Kharsiya and Sakti stations at about 5.45 AM while the train was passing from Chhattisgarh. This despite the fact that seven police personnel were accompanying him in the train 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. His family expressed fear that the authorities might even be keeping Naeem in “custody illegally to falsely implicate him in some other cases”.