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Aurangabad Special Court Acquits Four Muslims Booked on Terror Charges

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By Siddhant Mohan

The Aurangabad special sessions court has acquitted four Muslim youth from terror charges in a judgement on October 3. The accused, Shaker Khilji, Abrar Shaikh, Zafar Qureshi and Anwar Khatri were arrested in relation to Himayat Baugh encounter case, which happened on March 26, 2012, in which the Maharashtra ATS gunned down Azhar Khatri on the spot. The accused were tried under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 (UAPA), Sections 307, 353 and 34 of IPC, and sections 3, 25 of Arms act in the Aurangabad special sessions court. The case was running a slow pace until on the accused’s demands, Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra took over the case in March 2017. Judge of the case, V.V Patil put the case on timed and fast proceedings by calling the witnesses and accused to appear on regular basis on September 11 this year. The judgment has acquitted all the four accused, from UAPA, but has convicted Shaker Khilji and Abrar Shaikh in the IPC section 307 only. Hafiz Nadeem Siddiqui, President Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra said, “This is a big success for the community where all the accused have been acquitted of terrorism charges.” “Our legal team is confident that even the conviction of two accused under sections of IPC will not survive before High Court and hence we will soon file an appeal against their conviction,” he added. The prosecution failed to provide any evidence regarding the charges which the accused were facing. The accused have been facing charges in relation to the Ahmedabad bomb blast case, 2008. Based on the input, Maharashtra ATS conducted a raid in Himayat Baugh locality of Aurangabad in 2012, in which one accused was killed. The investigation of this case was led by the CID.
(Extracted from twocircles.net)