The Harkat-ul-Jihadi-al-Islami (HuJI),which has reportedly taken responsibility for Wednesdays Delhi High Court attack,was also blamed for the serial blasts in court complexes in Uttar Pradesh on November 23,2007,that left 14 people dead and over 50 injured.
Four alleged HuJI men were arrested for the blasts in the courts in Lucknow and Faizabad. No one has yet been caught for the attack at Varanasi court.
While nine deaths were reported from Varanasi and five from Faizabad,there were no casualties in Lucknow.
The arrested men were Khalid Mujahid,Tariq Qazmi,Saijadur Rahman and Akhtar. Khalid is a resident of Jaunpur district,while Tariq is a native of Azamgarh. The police arrested them from Barabanki on December 22,2007. A few days after their arrest,the police arrested Saijadur Rahman and Akhtar,residents of Jammu & Kahsmir.
However,on April 14 this year,the special court of Lucknow discharged Saijadur Rahman for want of evidence in the Lucknow court blast.
The court has framed charges against the other three accused and trial has begun. Till date,two prosecution witnesses have been examined in the Lucknow blast case, said defence lawyer Mohammad Shoaib. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 22.
In the Faizabad blast case,charges were framed against all four alleged HuJI men. Till now,25 prosecution witnesses have been examined, said Shoaib. The next date of hearing is September 15.
However,the police story is riddled with holes. After the arrest of Tariq and Khalid from Barabanki,residents of Azamgarh had held protests saying the UP Police had framed them in the case. They claimed police had picked up Qazmi from his house on December 12 and Khalid on December 16 and,after keeping them in illegal detention for some days,showed them arrested from Barabanki on December 22.
Their families had lodged missing reports and approached the Chief Minister,Governor,State Human Rights Commission and the office of Prime Minister.
Following pressure from local residents,the state government on March 14,2008,set up a judicial commission to look into the allegations. Retired Judge R D Nimesh is conducting the inquiry.
In September 2008,when the Indian Mujahideen came into the limelight,the Uttar Pradesh police had come up with a new theory that the court blasts were a joint operation of the HuJI and IM.
The police had arrested IMs Arif alias Abdul Qadir of Azamgarh district from Lucknows Charbagh area in September 2008 10 days after the Batla House encounter in Delhi. The police said Arif had admitted that he and his group members,namely Atif,Ariz,Shadab alias Malik,Safur Rehman,Saif,Chotta Sajid and Shadab Ahmed,were involved in the crime.
Atif and Chotta Sajid had died at Batla House while Saif was arrested. Other accused are absconding. Arif is lodged in Ahmedabad jail.
However,no IM activist has been named in the chargesheet.