Agency has time till February 28
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has left out four of the 15 arrested in the charge sheet it filed in the NIA Special Court on Wednesday.
Though the NIA has said the investigation is still pending against the four, their advocates and families claim that by not mentioning their names in the charge sheet, the investigating agency has accepted it has no evidence against them.
However, sources indicated the possibility of the NIA filing a supplementary charge sheet against those whose names had been left out in the first charge sheet. The stipulated 180 days’ time frame to file a charge sheet in cases registered under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, expires on February 28. So, chances of the NIA filing a supplementary charge sheet by then cannot be ruled out, they said.
The arrest of Ijaz Ahmed Mirza, who was working as a scientist at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Muthi-ur-Rehman Siddiqui, who was working as a journalist, had then caused a sensation in the media circles and among the public alike. Both haven’t been charged yet.
Besides, of the six who were arrested from a one-room house in Munireddypalya, JC Nagar - Shohaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chotu, Abdulla alias Abulla Hakkim, Ijaz Ahmed Mirja, Syed Yusuf Nalaband, Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti, 28, and Muthi-Ur-Rehman Siddiqui, 26, – three haven't been charged.
Sources told this paper that of the arrested, Shoaib Ahmed Mirza and Dr Zafar Iqbal had influenced and brainwashed some of the others. However, not all the six who were living in the house in Munireddypalya were involved, they added.
Mohammed Sultan of the Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR), an advocate representing all the accused in the case, told Deccan Herald that APCR was yet to receive a hard copy of the charge sheet filed by NIA.
He said the NIA leaving out four of the arrested in its charge sheet clearly showed that it could not find any evidence against them. He said the APCR and the legal team would immediately move court for bail for the four, as the NIA had not chargesheeted them within the stipulated time frame. He expressed confidence that they would be granted bail immediately.
Rouf Ahmed Mirza, brother of Ijaz Ahmed and Shoaib Ahmed, told Deccan Herald that of the two brothers, one had been charged. “We will take the fight to its logical end,” Rouf said.
‘My brother is innocent’
Family members of Muthi-ur-Rehman Siddiqui, one of the men who was taken into police custody some six months ago, heaved a sigh of relief on learning that his name had not been included in the charge sheet filed by the NIA in a special court on Wednesday.
“I know my brother is innocent and he will be released with honour. We have strong faith in God and God didn’t let us down. He heard our prayers,” an emotional Zakiya Khatun, elder sister of Siddiqui, said. She said her family members had faith in the judiciary.
“We have gone through a lot of agony in the last six months. My brother was a hard worker. He struggled a lot to get education and come up in life,” she added.
Ubed-ur-Rehman, the brother of Siddiqui, said he would distribute sweets to his neighbours to celebrate if his brother is released from the jail.
“I have a lot to talk to him. I want to know how he spent his days in the jail and the pain he experienced,” he said.