By A. Mirsab, TwoCircles.net,
New Delhi: On 16th May 2014, the day the results of 16th Lok Sabha elections were out and BJP won 282 seats to form next government, if there was anybody in the country more happy than Narendra Modi then it was a group of men who were saved by Supreme Court from being hanged for the accusation of terrorist act which they never participated in. Those were the 3 Muslim men who were arrested and sentenced to death for being part of conspiracy in Akshardham Temple terror case in which 33 people were killed and scores injured due to firing by alleged two terrorists who were subsequently killed by NSG commandos.
TCN presents – in series – the exposure of the agony of guiltless Muslim men who were arrested for the first ever high profile terror case emerged or happened in the aftermath of Gujarat 2002 riots in which thousands of innocent Muslims died due to laxity of state government when Narendra Modi, now to be 14th Prime Minister, was its Chief Minister. TCN also provides Jamiat Ulema’s role in meting out justice to these innocent men along with excerpts of Jamiat leaders and of these proven ‘innocent’ men who speak about their sufferings. In the end relevant observations of Supreme Court out of its 281 page judgment is also published.
Gujarat Police destroyed lives of innocent men
There has always been a question mark on the professionalism of Gujarat police in carrying out the investigation and using of the legal powers bestowed upon them. Excluding Muslim organizations, especially Jamiat Ulema Maharashtra nobody had believed that Akshardham terror accused were innocent and were victims of the Gujarat Police’s high handedness but with Supreme Court’s historic judgment on 16th May 2014 the whole world came to know the innocence of 6 Muslim people who were never been reported in the media except during their arrest when the biased media had itself judged them to be the menace to society. These accused turned convict and have now been proven innocent men are Altaf Malek, Mohammed Salim Hanif Sheikh, Abdul Qaiyum Muftisaab , Abdullah Miya Yasin Miya, Chand Khan and Adam Bhai Ajmeri.
Before this proved bogus investigation by Gujarat police their role was highly criticized during the handling of Gujarat 2002 riots cases when they were shielding main accused and were arresting only minority people. Their professionalism came under scanner when numbers of encounters were carried out in Gujarat and their elite force include D G Vanjara, G L Singhal and Chudasma were arrested and imprisoned in the cases of fake encounters of Sohrabuddin, Prajapati and Ishrat Jahan .
Now with the Supreme Court’s remarkable order in case of Akshardham temple terror 2002 another case has been added to the list of crooked investigations carried out by Gujarat police. While the innocence of this case’s accused has been established accused of other cases of terror registered and investigated by Gujarat police are waiting to see justice done with them.
GL Singhal presided over the investigation of Akshardham temple terror case that had arrested 6 Muslim men and had concocted a false theory and had extracted confessional statements from them under sections of POTA which were later on retracted by all accused now proven innocent claiming that those statements were extracted under coercion and torture. The charge sheet was filed against 6 arrested men and 28 absconding men, 216 witnesses were examined and the special court pronounced life imprisonment to one, sentence of 10 years and 5 years to two each and death sentence to 3 men.
SP G L Singhal was later arrested by CBI on 21st February 2013 in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case.
The Akshardham temple terror case was mainly built on the basis of confessions which were forcefully obtained from accused and a copy of paper written in Urdu language from the pockets of two slain alleged terrorists. The Supreme Court found that those papers were planted and had no reason to believe those papers to remain intact without a crease when those killed alleged terrorists’ body was blurred by the blood and spray of heavy water.
In its order Supreme Court division bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice V.G. Gowda rebuked Gujarat police in a harsher tone but at the same time was sympathetic towards implicated 6 Muslim men. The court observed, “Before parting with the judgment, we intend to express our anguish about the incompetence with which the investigating agencies conducted the investigation of the case of such a grievous nature, involving the integrity and security of the Nation. Instead of booking the real culprits responsible for taking so many precious lives, the police caught innocent people and got imposed the grievous charges against them which resulted in their conviction and subsequent sentencing.”
The Supreme Court ruled sanction order granted by the Home Ministry of Gujarat as void and illegal under POTA on the ground of non application of mind. The Court remarked, “However, the present case does not show that the sanctioning authority had applied its mind to the satisfaction as to whether the present case required granting of sanction. The prosecution had failed to prove that the sanction was granted by the government either on the basis of an informed decision or on the basis of an independent analysis of fact on consultation with the Investigating Officer. This would go to show clear non-application of mind by the Home Minister in granting sanction”.
The apex court also agree on the confessional statements of the convicts as being invalid in law and said the prosecution could not establish that the accused participated in any conspiracy.
In every special Acts which are enacted in the parliament or assembly one section of accord of sanction by the ministry is inserted on the basis of it being a stringent and to avoid any irregularity if done by the police machinery so that injustice to the accused may be circumvent before the matter is actually been judged by the court of law. The Gujarat ministry has also proved to stay in the same line as that of Gujarat police when it did not apply its mind while granting sanction of prosecution under section 50 of POTA for such a sensitive and a case of national security. One can imagine if the government is lax towards such a high profile case then what would have been done with the case of less severity which is not scanned by the media!
(Read this space tomorrow for details of torments of “Accused then convict and finally proven innocent”.)