Court rejects plea to drop terror charges

UP govt wanted to close cases against blast accused

The Samajwadi Party government’s attempt to woo Muslims ahead of the Lok Sabha polls by withdrawing cases against 2007 Gorakhpur serial blasts  accused Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid was on Friday foiled by a court that rejected its plea to drop the terror charges.

A Barabanki district court rejected the government’s application seeking to drop the cases against the duo on the grounds of public interest and communal harmony.

Rejecting the application, special sessions judge Kalpana Mishra said the government had failed to elaborate the two grounds cited for dropping the charges.

Mishra also rapped the government counsel for giving the application openly and not in a sealed envelope, though it was a confidential document.

Later, the government said it will file an appeal against the order. “We will file an appeal against the district court’s order,” said senior minister Azam Khan here.

A few days after the blast that left seven persons injured, Qasmi and Mujahid were arrested from Barabanki railway station with explosives.

Earlier, the government had sought a report from the district magistrate in the matter. Sources said the district authorities had pleaded for withdrawing the case, citing lack of credible evidence against the accused.

The matter was then referred to the law department, and the decision to withdraw the cases was taken after the latter gave its nod, sources said.

The government had also tried to withdraw terror-related charges against the Varanasi blast accused.

Roadblock

But the move hit a roadblock after district authorities in Varanasi opposed it.
Samajwadi Party seems desperate to withdraw the cases after some Muslim organisations slammed the party for not honouring the promise made during the state Assembly polls.

The party had said it would release innocent Muslim youth who had been falsely implicated in terror charges.

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