Srinagar – Separatist leaders Azam Inquilabi, Abdul Ahad Waza, and the slain Sheikh Abdul Aziz have been acquitted along with six others by a TADA court in Jammu in a pre-militancy case of waging war against the nation.
Five of the now-exonerated leaders are living oversees including across the LoC, and have been ordered to appear in the court for the verdict concerning their role.
Additional sessions judge (TADA, POTA, NIA) Sanjeev Gupta recently quashed all charges against all the accused, the case falling through because prosecution witnesses all police officers could not testify to the objectionable material alleged to have been recovered, sources said.
The twenty-four-year-old case had been filed in the Kupwara police station on the charges of rebellion against the nation, creating disruption in Jammu and Kashmir, starting militancy, providing arms and training to youth, and spying for Pakistan.
Inquilabi, Sheikh Aziz, Abdul Ahad Waza, (now late) Ghulam Nabi Bhat, Amanullah Khan, Raja Muzaffar, Dr. Farooq Haider, Chaudhary Yaseen, and Abdul Hameed Bhat had been named as the accused.
Though Inquilabi, Aziz, Waza and Ghulam Nabi, who have been jailed a number of times since, had been attending hearings in Jammu where the case was transferred later, the others were tried in absentia as they are living outside India.
According to sources, then SHO Kupwara Abdul Rasheed Malik, sub-inspector Ghulam Ahmad Beig, and assistant sub-inspector Muhammad Jamal told the court that they had no knowledge of the case prepared against the accused nor of the objectionable material said to have been seized from them.
The chief prosecution witness, the then superintendent of police for Kupwara, Muhammad Amin Shah, under whom the case had been filed, had appeared in court a number of times in support of the charges.
Observer News Service
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