Blowing holes in the U.P. police theory related to the alleged involvement of Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid (now deceased) in terror activities, the R.D. Nimesh Commission has said the involvement of the accused in the incident mentioned in the case (crime number 1891/2007) registered in Kotwali police station in Barabanki “appeared doubtful.”
The Commission stated that since the case is pending in the District Court, Barabanki, “at this level responsibility against any person in connection with the incident cannot be fixed.”
The 237-page Nimesh Commission report was tabled in the Vidhan Sabha on Monday. The report had been submitted to the Samajwadi Party government on August 31, 2012. The single member Commission, headed by retired District and Sessions Judge R.D. Nimesh was constituted by the Mayawati government on March 14, 2008 to inquire into the involvement of Qasmi and Mujahid in the crime.
Mujahid died on May 18, 2013 while returning from a hearing in the Barabanki district court. Police said he died due to heart failure even as his relatives alleged that he had been killed.
Qasmi and Mujahid were arrested by the U.P. Police’s Special Task Force on December 22, 2007 near the Barabanki railway station with a huge cache of arms and ammunition. The police claimed that they were involved in the serial bomb blasts in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi district courts on November 23, 2007. Police said they were allegedly associated with a terrorist organisation. A case was registered the same day at the Kotwali police station in Barabanki district.
However, their family members claimed that they were picked up by the police from Azamgarh and Jaunpur districts on December 12, 2007 and December 16, 2007 respectively, and alleged that they were implicated in false terror charges.
Statements of 46 witnesses from the prosecution side, 25 witnesses from the defence side and 45 of the Commission (total: 114) were recorded by the panel. Additionally, 47 affidavits were submitted by the prosecution and 25 by the defence side. On the alleged dubious manner in which the duo were arrested, the Nimesh report stated that they were picked up from their home districts. It added that Mr. Qasmi and Mr. Mujahid were arrested at 6.15 p.m. and gelatin rod, detonator, RDX and mobile phone were seized.
The report stated that “on the basis of the documentary and oral evidence and arguments presented by the prosecution side, the two alleged accused and complainants,” its is clear that Qasmi, who left Sarai Meer (in Azamgarh) on his mobike for attending a “ijtima” (religious congregation) was picked up by some persons from Shankarpur police outpost at 12 noon on December 12, 2007. The report stated that while Qasmi was taken in a Tata Sumo, two other persons rode his mobike.
Likewise, Mujahid was picked up by some persons from Mahatwana mohalla under Marhiyahu police station area in Jaunpur district, who drove him away in a Tata Sumo, the report said. The report added that the two accused were harassed and beaten up.
While the Commission has mentioned the likely involvement of the STF and the police in the sequence of events from December 12, 2007 to December 22, 2007; it has not fixed accountability on those who picked the two alleged accused. The panel stated that since they have not been identified, action cannot be recommended. It has recommended that these officers and employees should be identified and action taken in accordance with the law.
Twelve suggestions have been made in the report.