In setback for NIA, Kerala High Court acquits two Muslim men in UAPA case

The Kerala High Court on Thursday acquitted Thadiyantevida Nazeer and Shafaz, prime accused in Kozhikode twin blast case, and dismissed NIA’s appeal against the acquittal of the other two accused in the case.

The Kerala High Court on Thursday acquitted Thadiyantevida Nazeer and Shafaz, prime accused in Kozhikode twin blast case, and dismissed NIA’s appeal against the acquittal of the other two accused in the case.

The blast which took place on March 3, 2006, at the Kozhikode Mofussil bus stand and the KSRTC stand was initially investigated by the local police, the case was taken over by the National Investigation Agency in 2009.

Nazeer and Shafaz, the first and fourth accused in the case, had filed an appeal seeking to quash the life sentence imposed on them by the NIA Special Court Ernakulam. The duo refuted the trial court’s finding that they had committed offences under the draconian UAPA.

The NIA had filed a chargesheet in 2010, under sections of the UAPA, IPC, and Explosive Substances Act. According to chargesheet, the blast was reportedly planned in protest against the denial of bail to some Muslim accused in the 2003 Marad communal riots case.

A Division Bench of Justice Vinod K Chandran and Justice C. Jayachandran also dismissed the appeal filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging the trial court’s order acquitting two other accused in the case, Abdul Halim and Abubaker Yusuf, Live Law reported.

There were nine accused in the case. The second accused Mohammed Ashar and the eighth accused PP Yusaf were absconding at the time of the trial, but the NIA had arrested them in 2019, ten years after NIA started the probe. Sixth accused Fayiz died during the trial of the case while seventh accused Shammi Firoz turned approver and was examined as a witness. The fifth accused Abul Jaleel was not included in the chargesheet filed by the NIA.

Two persons, including a policeman, sustained minor injuries in the blast.