Panel doubts police claim regarding arrest of 2 youths

Rejecting the police theory of circumstances leading to the arrest of two youths believed to be involved in serial bomb blasts across Uttar Pradesh courts in 2007, one member of the R D Nimesh Inquiry Commission has stated that the police claim regarding the date, place and timing of arrests appears to be 'doubtful'.

The Indian Express is in possession of the 237 page report, (dated August 31) in which the Commission has recommended that "identify and act against officials who perpetrated this unlawful activity".

The Commission was set up in March 2008 by the BSP government to probe into the arrest of Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid for their alleged involvement in November 23, 2007 serial blasts at district courts of Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad.

According to reports, at least 14 persons were killed and several persons were critically injured in these blasts. On December 22, 2007, the STF, in a press conference addressed by ADGP (Law and Order) Brijlal in Lucknow, had claimed that they have arrested Tariq and Khalid from Barabanki, and recovered detonators and RDX from them.

The family of the youths, however, claimed that Tariq, a practitioner of Unani Medicine, was picked up from Shankarpur check post near Sarai Meer in Azamgarh. And Khalid was reportedly picked up from Mariyahu in Jaunpur much ahead of the date mentioned by the police.

Expressing its doubts regarding the police claims, the Commission recommended that guilty officials should be punished. However, the Commission failed to establish the identity of the culprits. "In the incidents between December 12 and 22, 2007, it appears some other police force was involved, in addition to STF, but it is not clear with the available evidences as to which force, or officials were involved in picking, detaining and torturing Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi. Therefore, the responsibility can be fixed only after identifying individual officials...Since the case is being tried at Barabanki district court, at this stage responsibility cannot be fixed against any person," the Commission said.

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