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Five accused in Hyderabad blasts case acquitted

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad | July 23, 2008 15:13 IST
Last Updated: July 23, 2008 20:01 IST

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In a major rebuke to the Hyderabad city police, a local court on Tuesday has acquitted five youth arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy following the twin blasts last year.

The 7th metropolitan sessions judge of the Nampally court acquitted Mohammed Abdul Kaleem, Mohammed Abdul Raoof alias Imran, Shujauddin, Mohammed Faseehuddin, and Mohammed Sohail who were arrested in September last by the special investigations team.

The judge in his orders observed that the police had failed to provide any evidence against the accused. The police had charged that these youth had procured SIM cards in fictitious names and used them for the terrorist activities.

While four were already out on bail, Abdul Kaleem was released after the court acquitted him.

Earlier the police had subjected Kaleem and Imran to narco tests in Bangalore and claimed to have procured vital information including a confession that he was involved in providing logistical support to the terrorists including SIM cards. A similar claim was made about Imran saying he had helped two other accused Shoaib Jagirdar and Sameer in shifting explosives.

The families of the youth had strongly denied the police allegations and insisted that their wards were innocent and had nothing to do with any terrorist activity.

Of the 30 youth arrested by the police in the aftermath of the twin blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chaat, none was directly charged with involvement in the blast but only with criminal conspiracy and helping the perpetrators. Most of the accused have come out on bail and five of them have now been acquitted.

Meanwhile the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee has welcomed the court verdict acquitting the five youth in the terror linked charges.

"This is one more evidence that
Hyderabad police was targeting and harassing innocent people and destroying their lives without an iota of evidence against them. We have been saying this from the beginning that none of the youth picked up by the police were involved in any criminal or anti national activity," said Lateef Mohammed Khan, general secretary of APCLMC.

The civil liberties organization has been campaigning against the harassment of the Muslim youth specially in old city of Hyderabad since last year's serial blasts.

Khan said that the city police had booked three different cases of criminal conspiracy to wage war against the state and other countries in which a total of 79 persons were booked.

Significantly in a recent move the
Hyderabad police added 44 more names in the criminal conspiracy case booked at Gopalpuram police station last year. Lateef Mohammed Khan's name also figures in the list.

"This is a tactic to terrorise and harass those people who are raising their voice against police atrocities," Lateef said.

Two octogenarians Moulana Abdul Aleem Islahi and Shaikh Mahbub Ali also figure in this list. All the 44 new names in the list have shown as absconding.

"Adding the new names in the list is a conspiracy by the police to vitiate the atmosphere in
Hyderabad before the Ganesh festival. They also want to tarnish our image because we have filed a case in the court against the police demanding a compensation of Rs 20 lakh each to the 20 youth who were arrested by the police after last year's blasts," Lateef Khan said.

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