After 19 year long trial,the Special Court under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act in Jammu on Tuesday acquitted all the accused in two separate cases pertaining to the abduction and subsequent killing of then Kashmir University vice-chancellor,Dr Musir-ul-Haq along with his private secretary,Abdul Gani Zargar,and general manager of the HMT watch factory,HL Khera,in the Valley as Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) failed to prove its case.
Those acquitted of the charges of abduction and killing of Kashmir University vice chancellor and his personal secretary include Abdul Aziz Dar,Ghulam Qadir Mir,Shabir Ahmed Bhat,Mohammad Sadiq Rather,Mushtaq Ahmed Khan and Mohammad Saleem Zargar,while those acquitted of Kheras abduction and killing included Mohammad Salim Zargar and Tahir Mir.
Presiding Officer of the TADA Court,Jammu,after hearing counsels from both the sides in the case pertaining to the killing of KU vice-chancellor and his private secretary,observed that confession of Mohammad Saleem Zargar is inadmissible in evidence and a doubt arises on the voluntary nature of the confession made by accused Mushtaq Ahmed Khan and Mohammad Sadiq Rather. The implicit reliance cannot be placed upon the confession made by accused without corroboration,which is lacking in the present case to hold accused guilty of the commission of offence with which they are charged,he observed,acquitting them of the charges levelled against them.
According to the prosecution story,the accused had abducted Haq and his private secretary on April 6,1990,to secure a release of jailed militants Nissar Ahmed Jogi,Ghulam Nabi Bhat and Fiyaz Ahmed Wani. However,as their demand was not met,they killed both the hostages. In the challan presented in the court,it had also named Hilal Beigh,self styled chief commander of J&K Students Liberation Front,Javed Ahmed Shala,Mushtaq Ahmed Sheikh,Mohammad Ashraf Bhat,Aftab,Hilal Ahmed Sheikh,Rafiq Wani and Mohammad Hussain Khan.
While Hilal Beigh died during the pendency of trial,proceedings under section 512 of Criminal Procedure Code to declare them absconders were initiated against others.
Similarly,in another case pertaining to the abduction and killing of HMT general manager HL Khera in the Valley on April 6,1990,the TADA judge observed that a doubt arises on truthfulness of confession of the accused in the absence of any corroboration,resulting in prosecutions failure to prove its case against Mohammad Saleem Zargar and Tahir Ahmed Mir.
Meanwhile,TADA judge dismissed applications filed by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front supreme Mohammad Yaseen Malik and some others for transfer of their trail in cases pertaining to Rubiya Sayeeds abduction and killing of five IAF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar court.
Rejecting their plea that it would be difficult for them to appear and defend themselves in the court at Jammu in view of the threats issued to accused during the recent Amarnath agitation,the court observed that the cases are pending since 1990 and are at the initial stage of argument of charge/discharge of the accused persons.