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2008 Delhi blast accused Salman acquitted by trial court

Sunday February 06, 2011 03:09:28 PM, Agencies

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New Delhi: A city court on February 05 Saturday discharged Azamgarh native Mohammed Salman of his alleged involvement in the 2008 Delhi serial blasts case.

Salman, branded an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative for over two years, was acquitted because the court found that the Delhi Police's special cell had failed to submit credible evidence to prove his complicity.

Though acquitted in the Delhi serial blasts, Salman is still a suspect in the Jaipur and Ahmedabad blast cases.

The five synchronised bomb blasts killed 26 people in the capital and left 50 others injured. The blasts occurred at crowded areas in Barakhamba Road, Connaught Place, Karol Bagh and Greater Kailash-I.

The court will, however, frame charges against 13 other accused in the case - Mohd Shakeel, Mohd Saif, Zeeshan Ahmed, Zia- ur- Rehman, Saquib Nisar, Mohd Sadique, Kayamuddin Kapadia, Mohd Hakim, Mohd Mansoor Asghar Peerbhoy, Mubeen Kadar Sheikh, Asif Bashiruddin, Mohd Akbar Ismail Chaudhary and Shahzad Ahmed.

The charges will be formally framed on February 21.

Salman was picked up by the Uttar Pradesh anti- terrorism squad ( ATS) in Siddharth Nagar near the Indo- Nepal border on March 6, 2010. The ATS had alleged that Salman was trained in Pakistan to handle weapons and explosives, and was aware of the Delhi blasts conspiracy. He was later handed over to the Delhi Police.

Hailed Salman's acquittal as a " triumph of truth", Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association (JTSA) said public prosecutor Raju Mohan - responding to specific questions by the judge regarding the evidence against Salman - was unable to produce anything to substantiate the prosecution's claim.

In a statement issued Saturday evening, the JTSA said, "It is to be noted that Salman was a minor at the time of the blasts and, even if accused, ought to have been tried under the Juvenile Justice Act ( his high school certificate clearly shows his date of birth as October 3, 1992."

"The police were well aware of this fact. But in order to mislead the court, they deliberately planted a photocopy of the forged passport and health card. If indeed, the health card and forged passports had been found on the person of Salman, why did the police not book him under the relevant charges at the time of his arrests?"

The Jamia teachers also pointed out that the transcripts of Salman's conversations with Atif Amin were described as "normal conversations between two boys" by the court. The judge described the intercepted conversations between them as "flippant" and said the phone was not in the name of Salman," said a teachers.

Meanwhile, P. N. Aggarwal, special commissioner of police ( special cell) while declining to comment on the judgment said, "I cannot comment anything about the police action at the moment. We are yet to get a copy of the judgment."






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