NIA court allows Mirza to walk after six months in jail

In a further embarrassment to the Bangalore police, the special court of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) on Thursday granted bail to a third person who had been arrested among 15 others on suspicion of being part of a terror module plotting to kill some right wing politicians and journalists.

Aijaz Ahmed Mirza (26), arrested by the Central Crime Branch in August last year, is among the four the NIA has not charge-sheeted.

Statutory bail

While Deccan Herald reporter Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui and Yusuf Nalaband, a technician, were released earlier this week, the court on Thursday granted statutory bail to Mr. Mirza, overriding the NIA’s objection that it needed to investigate some evidence against him. The court granted bail on two cash sureties of Rs. 25,000 each and asked him to surrender his passport. He is the third man to walk to freedom after six months of arrest.

Fourth man

The fourth man, who has not been charge-sheeted but is still jailed is Syed Tanzim (20). He was working in a timber yard off Mysore Road, and was arrested last November on the suspicion of providing logistics.

While NIA officials claimed that they still have some evidence against Mr. Mirza, a former police official derided it as a face-saving attempt. Giving a clean chit to four young men whom the agencies claimed were terrorists is not only a major embarrassment but has also raised doubts about the credibility of the investigations, the officer said.

Out of DRDO

Though Mr. Mirza will be out on bail, he is also out of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), where he was a junior research fellow on contract. As soon as he was arrested, the DRDO module terminated his service, citing expiry of his time-bound project. The DRDO can suspend any employee in conflict with the law, but they can be rescinded if he or she is found innocent. But in this case, Mr. Mirza was a trainee on contract, a source said, adding that the director has the discretionary power to reconsider this case.

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