Saturday, December 9, 2023

UP court sentences Muslim man with mental illness to death, alleges family

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Ahmad Murtaza Abbasi, an IIT-Bombay alumnus who was arrested following an attack on cops at the Gorakhnath temple in Uttar Pradesh last year, was awarded the death sentence by an ATS/NIA court in Lucknow on 30 January.

Meanwhile, Abbasi’s lawyer and family members claimed that a plea for mental health assessment was rejected by the district court.

Abbasi’s lawyer Raza-ur-Rahman has decided to challenge the ATS court’s decision in the High Court.

“Abbasi is meritorious but he is not of sound mind. We had moved an application in district court under CrPC section 84 read with section 328 for assessment of his mental health but the application was kept pending. After three months, it was junked and immediately charges were framed and statements of witnesses were recorded,” Rahman said.

Abbasi’s family also told media that he was a person with mental illness and that he had also exhibited suicidal tendencies for which he had been under observation at many places since 2017.

A neurologist in Ahmedabad who had treated Abbasi in 2018, claimed that he had diagnosed him as suffering from “anxiety and complaining of delusional thoughts,” and had asked the latter to see a psychiatrist due to the issues he was facing, The Quint reported.

On 3 April last year, Abbasi was arrested after he attacked the PAC personnel stationed outside the Gorakhnath temple with a sharp weapon while raising religious slogans.

However, UP ATS ADG Naveen Arora said the claims of “mental illness” is fake.

“”He (Abbasi) was of sound mind and was telling even the minutest of the details. He was studying quantum physics, trying to design mathematical formulas and was researching chemicals for bombs. Can a person of unsound mind get into such details? He had worked with three different companies. No one will take him for the job if he is not mentally fit. We have proven that he was not of unsound mind,” The Quint quoted Arora as saying.

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