Acquitted in terror case, two traders await release

Two Jammu businessmen, who were jailed for seven years over charges of terrorism, were acquitted by the Delhi High Court on May 6. However, they are yet to be released.

Mushtaq, now in Tihar jail, awaits clearance from a Jammu court, where he was facing charges in a family dispute that has been withdrawn. He may have to appear before the Jammu court on May 15 for a hearing.

Iqbal, in a Srinagar jail, is waiting for the paperwork for his release that is being sent to Srinagar from Delhi. Since the papers were prepared Friday evening, he may have to spend just a few more days in jail.

The two have been in jail since their arrest in November 2006. They were arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police after police received a tip off regarding an alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist 'Faisal' from Jammu, who was expected to go to Delhi with money and explosives for a terror plot.

The Special Cell had told the sessions court that the two men, arrested from the Kaudia Pul near the Old Delhi Railway station, were carrying over Rs 5 lakh and over 2 kg of RDX and other explosive material. The sessions court had sentenced the duo to life imprisonment, after dismissing their plea that they had been falsely implicated.

However, the Delhi High Court set aside the sessions court order and acquitted them of all charges.

The High Court dismissed all allegations, finding "serious improbabilities which critically and fatally undermine the prosecution's story".

The court found that police had made no effort to determine the identity of the arrested persons even though the two had given documentary proof of their identity as businessmen from Jammu. "Police have not produced any document establishing that Faisal mentioned in the secret information was the same as accused Mohd Iqbal...," the court observed.

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