HC notice to state on move to drop CRPF attack cases

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The Allahabad High Court on Friday issued a notice to the state government on a petition challenging its move to consider withdrawal of the cases against the accused in the terrorist attack on a CRPF camp in Rampur on December 31, 2007.

The court has fixed November 22 as the next date of hearing.

Hearing a petition filed by Nityanand Chaubey, an advocate and social activist from Varanasi, a division bench of Justice R K Agarwal and Ram Surat Ram Maurya sought counter-affidavits from the state government as well as the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Rampur.

Shashi Shankar Tripathi, counsel for the petitioner, said: "Our petition argues that anybody allegedly involved in such a deadly attack was indulging in a terrorist activity, which is an act of waging war against the state. Therefore, the state government should not interfere with the legal process and withdraw cases. These cases cannot be treated on a par with crimes of lesser nature, in which the accused can be shown leniency on humanitarian grounds."

Tripathi added that the petitioner has asked the high court to issue directions to the state government to withdraw the letter of October 31 issued to the district administration of Rampur. The letter had sought a report from the administration on the possibility of withdrawing cases against those accused in the particular case.

On December 31, 2007, at least seven CRPF personnel and one rickshaw-puller were killed and nearly 20 people were injured in the attack on the CRPF camp.

Following investigations, the Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police had arrested two Pakistani nationals and five Indian nationals. While one of the Indian nationals was from Bihar, the other four were residents of different districts of Uttar Pradesh. The police had alleged that the accused were Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives. The trial in the case is currently going on and the statements of witnesses are being recorded.

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