Court sets Free Innocent Muslim Youth
Rampur: Three Muslim youths who were arrested under POTA in 2002 for allegedly helping Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) were acquitted for being innocent by a Moradabad POTA court.
District Judge of Moradabad POTA court, Roop Kishore Gupta, on January 20 ordered the release of Javed alias Guddu, Taj Mohammad and Maksood due to lack of “desired quantum of evidence”. The trio was later released from Rampur Jail, Superintendent of Police Sadhna Goswami said. Lucknow-based Special Task Force sleuths had nabbed the trio on August 13, 2002, from Rampur. The police had alleged that maps of cantonments of Meerut, Roorkee and Dehradun were recovered from their possession and they were accused of helping the ISI. The STF had also arrested Mumtaz Mian, but a review committee on POTA had recommended withdrawal of POTA charges against him, in 2004, as no direct evidence was found. He is now being prosecuted under certain other sections of IPC, his lawyer Nazar Abbas said, adding that his release is expected soon.
Several Muslim organizations had lodged their protest at the arrest of innocent youths 12 years ago. The Uttar Pradesh Government had directed the Moradabad District Magistrate in June 2013 to release the innocent youth as the Government had decided to withdraw the cases against them. The police had even petitioned the Judge in pursuance of the UP Government’s directive. But the High Court had stayed the release following a writ filed by some communal bodies pleading that only Central Government could withdraw the cases.
As usual, the national media which publicises such arrests in banner headlines, chose to ignore the release of the innocent youth who became a victim of harassment campaign by the administration under the camouflage of fighting communalism.