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J&K: Court acquits 6 in Raghunath temple attack case
October 31, 2006 15:50 IST
Principal Sessions Judge (Jammu) Subhash Chander Gupta on Monday cleared them of the charges while pointing out that the investigative agency has failed to submit adequate evidence in the case of the suicide attack on the temple and Raghunath Bazar on March 30, 2002.
The judge, after hearing public prosecutor E A Tak and defence counsel B R Gupta observed that there were 84 witnesses in support of the chargesheet provided by the investigating agency, out of which 67, who deposed, failed to identify any of the accused.
"There is not an iota of evidence in their statements against the present accused as none of these witnesses named any of the accused except stating about the two killed militants," he observed.
Referring to statements of four policemen -- Inspector Deepak Raina, ASI Nazir Ahmed and constables Faqir Chand and Mohd Aslam -- the judge said they only spoke about details provided by one Virinder Sharma, one of those arrested in the case, and recovery of huge quantities of arms and ammunition. But nowhere their statements showed association of the accused with Sharma, he said.
The judge also issued a notice to the investigating officer, DSP Abdul Razakh Khan, on why Sharma did not figure in the list of accused submitted by the investigating agency though the witnesses had identified him as the one behind the smuggling of arms and ammunitions.
The court also directed the IO to send a copy of this order to Director General of Police. "There is absolutely no evidence against the accused persons to frame charges and report submitted under section 173 of CRPC Act seems to be a report prepared in air and not based on any slightest supporting evidence," the judge said.
"It speaks about the cold manner in which the investigation has been conducted by the investigation officer. The then SSP of Jammu seems to have acted as a rubber stamp without bothering to go through the statements of any of the witnesses," he observed.
A suicide attack took place in Ragunath temple in Jammu on March 30, 2002. According to the police report, two armed militants hurled grenades at the busy Ragunath Bazar, causing damage to some shops and vehicles, before entering the temple where they started firing indiscriminately, killing 11 people.
Both the militants were killed in the ensuing encounter with security forces. A case was registered under Prevention and Suppression of Sabotage Act and also under Prevention of Terrorism Act.