UP wants to drop cases against 7 terror suspects

UP wants to drop cases against 7 terror suspects

Authorities in Varanasi are opposing Akhilesh's move

The UP government, undeterred by the rejection of its application to withdraw cases against the two 2007 serial blasts accused, now wants to withdraw cases against seven others, who have been lodged in jail in connection with terror charges.

The decision is seen as an  attempt to gain political mileage and woo the Muslims ahead of the next Lok Sabha poll.

According to sources, the government has filed an application in the special court on Saturday seeking to withdraw charges against the seven accused citing public interest as the reason.

Incidentally one of the accused, Nasir Hussain alias Arif, a Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) member, had, according to the police, received training in Pakistan in handling arms and ammunition. He was arrested in Lucknow in June 2006 and the police had seized RDX, detonators, battery and a timer from his possession.

The police had then claimed that Arif had been asked to trigger blasts at important places in the country. The cases against him were currently pending trial in a special court here.

Similarly another accused Mohammad Yaqub was an alleged HuJI member and was arrested from in 2007. A timer device and some explosives were recovered from his possession.

The five others have been accused of raising pro-Pakistan slogans on the court premises.

A Barabanki district court  recently rejected the government application to withdraw terror charges against Gorakhpur serial blasts accused Tariq Kasmi and Khalid Mujahid. Mujahid died on Saturday.

The government had tried to withdraw terror cases from the Varanasi blast accused. But it had hit roadblocks with the district authorities in Varanasi strongly opposing it.
The move by the government had also incurred the wrath of the court. The Allahabad High Court's criticism forced the government on the back foot.

The SP seems desperate to withdraw the cases. Various Muslim organisations have come down heavily on the SP regime for not honouring its promise made during the Assembly polls that it would release the “innocent” Muslim youth who had been falsely implicated in terror charges.

Muslims, who constitute around 20 per cent of the state's electorate, play a decisive role in around 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state. They will be key to any Mulayam plan to nurture bigger dreams at the Centre post 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

At a glance

- The UP government wants to withdraw cases against seven accused in serial blasts.

- The decision is seen as an attempt to woo the Muslims ahead of the Lok Sabha poll.

- A court recently rejected the government plea to withdraw terror charges against Gorakhpur blasts accused.

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