Court rejects UP's plea to scrap case against 'HuJI men'

A special court in Barabanki on Friday rejected the Uttar Pradesh government's plea to withdraw a criminal case against alleged HuJI operatives Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid, who were arrested on December 20, 2007 with arms and explosives. Both were wanted in connection with the serial blasts which took place in Lucknow and Faizabad courts in November 2007.

Government Counsel V K Dwivedi said Judge Kalpana Mishra rejected the government's plea on the ground that there is no public interest in withdrawing the case. The counsel said that the court also noted that the government has not elaborated their decision of withdrawing the case.

Defence counsel Randheer Singh Suman said another reason why the court rejected the application was that no government employee had filed an affidavit in support of the application moved to withdraw the case. Suman also said despite being a confidential document, the application was moved in the court openly.

Minorities Welfare Minister Azam Khan said the government would appeal the court's decision. "We will appeal in higher court and in the end there is also God's court," he said in Lucknow.

He said the government has its own rights while court has its own rights. "There is no clash between them. We follow every directive of the courts. The most recent being High Court's directions against some officials in Lucknow which we followed," he stated.

The minister said the state government takes the decision to withdraw a case when it believes that a person is innocent. "There is no case of clash between law and government order," he said.

Tariq is a native of Azamgarh while Khalid is from Jaunpur. Both are lodged in Lucknow Jail. On Friday, both did not appear before the court to take part in the proceeding. Uttar Pradesh's Special Task Force had arrested Tariq and Khalid for their alleged involvement in the serial blasts at Faizabad and Lucknow courts on November 23, 2007. The police have filed the chargesheet against Tariq and Khalid in blast cases. Five persons died in the blast which took place in Faizabad court while there were no casualties in Lucknow.

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