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Three Acquitted from Terrorism Charges

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Kolkata: A City Session Court here acquitted three persons, Abdullah Zubair, Noor Ahmed ad Tariq Akhtar from terrorism charges and ordered their release on March 1. The trio were being detained in a Kolkata jail for nearly eight years. They were facing charges of terrorism and sedition. The Kolkata Police had arrested them citing records of their names being found in the diary of some terrorists and had even alleged that they had telephonic conversation with them. But these could not be proved in the court, nor could they furnish record of conversation from the Telecom department.
According to Urdu daily Rashtriya Sahara, Abdullah Zubair, a resident of Vaishali district of Bihar was a student at Jamia Salfia in Varanasi. On January 31, 2006, he was called at the office of the Principal of the madrassa where some police officers told him that they were making inquiries regarding passport. When he denied that he had applied for any passport, they told him that perhaps it was in connection with passport application made by some of their household people and took him to the police station. He was taken to a hotel where several officers interrogated him about his connection with one Valiullah Qasimi wanted in connection with the bomb explosion in Shramajeevi Express. When he told them that he did not know what the Shramajeevi Express was all about and had never heard about Valiullah Qasimi before, they proposed taking him to Kolkata. This was objected to by the Superintendent of Varanasi who opposed taking him to Kolkata without any evidence. At this, the Kolkata Police officers assured that he would be freed if no evidence was found against him. He was then taken to Kolkata by road in a Scorpio van. He was produced before the City Session Court which remanded him to 14 day police remand. He told Sahara that though the Kolkata Police had firm belief that he was not involved in any violent or terrorist activity, his remand was extended for another 14 days. He said, for the first two months, none of their relatives at home could know of his whereabouts. Even he could know the charges against him only through the media. Meanwhile the Media came up with various reports relating him to the Lashkar Tayaba. It even reported that some weapons were found with him. He was however able to convey to his parents that he was lodged in a Kolkata Jail through a sympathetic police officer.
Abdullah told the newspaper that investigation officer Basudeep Bhattacharya told him on umpteen occasions that he was innocent and he was being held under the pressure of senior officers. He said despite no evidence being found against him, he was slapped with charges against IPC sections 121, 121A, 124Ak,
He told the newspaper that most Muslim officers within the jail treated him with extreme harshness while non-Muslim officers behaved more humanely. He said perhaps this was how they (the Muslim officers) wanted to prove their non-partisanship. He said most Muslim prisoners therefore wanted to be put under non-Muslim officers.