Thirteen men acquitted from a 12-year-old POTA case in Maharashtra

By Staff Reporter,

Solapur (Maharashtra): Thirteen persons, who were termed accused in a 2003 terror case under sections of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), were acquitted by a session court here.

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Session Court Judge N N Dhend acquitted all the 13 accused in the case on Tuesday for want of evidence. Those acquitted are: Anwar Shaikh, Mansoor Shaikh, Gulam Shaikh, Mudassir Shaikh, Ibrahim Momin, Mubin Shaikh, Farooq Tubib, Hamid Mulla, Yaqub Saudagar, Jabbar Shaikh, Mahboob Daula, Rahman Shaikh and Imaan Nadaf.

Maharashtra police (file photo)

All these men were arrested by Maharashtra police on August 8, 2003 alleging they were planning to make crude bombs for explosion. Police had allegedly recovered some preparatory material from some of the accused. Soon after their arrest, police had invoked sections of POTA in the case. All the accused were released on bail after spending six months behind bars after their arrest in 2002.

There were 62 witnesses in the case but prosecution examined only 14 of them. All the witnesses were declared hostile by the court.

Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind that had extended legal help to these accused expressed delight with the judgment and thanked its legal cell for continuous work in getting justice for the innocent.

Hafiz Nadeem Siddiqui, president of Maharashtra unit of Jamiat, said, “We are very much happy with the acquittal. Our national president Maulana Arshad Madni has specially thanked our legal team for constant effort in helping the innocents. We thank our Solapur lawyers too for this wonderful result.”

Advocate Wasim Shaikh, who appeared for some of the accused in the case, told, “It is the Jamiat to whom the credit must be given. Jamiat believed in our services and provided us help whenever needed.”

“Although it took so long to prove that the terror charges are wrong. But nevertheless, families of our clients are happy that the blot has been removed from their name now,” he added.