Sunday, May 19, 2024

Three Muslim men discharged in UAPA case after 10 years

A Delhi court cleared three Muslim men who were arrested and charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly serving as essential members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM).

The Muslim men were languishing in jails for several years.

The discharged are Abdul Wahid Sidibappa, who was a driver employed in Dubai and had been incarcerated since 2016, Manzar Imam, a former member of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) who had been in prison since 2013, and Ariz Khan, who had already been given the death penalty in the Batla House encounter case of 2008 and was also discharged.

“Big News: Manzar Imam, Ariz Khan and Abdul Wahid Siddibappa discharged in case FIR No. RC-06/2012/NIA/DLI by NI A Special Court Delhi Jamiat Ulma was doing this case and I was representing Manzar Imam,along with my friend Advocate Kartik Murukutla,” tweeted human rights lawyer Abubakr Sabbaq.

The trial court took almost a decade to discharge three Muslim men.

However, Additional Sessions Judge Shailender Malik of the Patiala House Court framed charges against 11 accused in the case, mostly under various sections of draconian UAPA, according to The Hindu.

The National Investigation Agency lodged a case in September 2012 against several Muslim men across India labelling them as suspected members of IM and IM modules based in the country. They, according to the agency, were collectively conspiring to commit terror acts like bomb blasts at prominent places across India.

Abdul Wahid Sidibappa remained in jail due to “inordinate delay” in the trial of a case registered in 2012, Advocate M.S. Khan argued, the newspaper reported.

NIA had alleged that Sidibappa was instrumental in channelising terror funds received from IM operatives in Pakistan through hawala transactions via Dubai for use of IM operatives for conducting terrorist activities. However, court rejected the charges.

The court also said that mere sending of money through hawala network may be illegal but does not establish commission of offence of Section 17 of UAPA.

Manzar Imam’s lawyer Abubakr Sabbaq said in the court that Imam was with SIMI as it was one of the huge Muslim student groups and Imam had already been convicted for being associated with SIMI in a case registered in Kerala. Imam was discharged in certain clubbed FIRs in Ahmedabad, he said.

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