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Officials oppose Varanasi blast accused's release

Updated: December 18, 2012, 1:05 PM IST
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Officials oppose Varanasi blast accused's release
Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party had requested withdrawal of case against "innocent Muslims implicated in the blasts."

Lucknow: The district administration has strongly opposed any action to release the accused in the 2006 Varanasi blasts, a move seen as a setback to the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party that had defended the "innocent Muslims being implicated in the blasts." The district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police of Varanasi have said, in a letter of the special secretary (law) dated December 14, after a careful study of the case, they were of the opinion that any move to free the accused like Waliullah, Shameem and others was not only likely to set a bad precedent but would not be judicious as well.

The case is now with the district and sessions court of Ghaziabad. In their response to the government missive, the district administrative and police officials also quoted the government legal counsel's support to their viewpoint.

They pointed out that the government counsel said the alleged act by the accused not only led to death of people and damage to government property but was also a crime against the unity of the nation and challenged its security.

In a reply to the 13 points, on which the law department of the state government had sought their opinion, the district officials have detailed many reasons, including "strong evidences" against the bomb blast accused. Saurabh Babu, the district magistrate of Varanasi, refused to comment on the matter, saying it was a confidential communication.

The ruling SP, specially Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, had made statements about "innocent Muslims being implicated in the blasts," and on October 31 had moved a notification seeking withdrawal of cases against the accused in the blast. The serial blast on March 7, 2006 had through the temple town of Varanasi, killing 20 people at the Cantonment railway station and the famous Sankat Mochan temple.

The move had not only kicked up a political storm but had also invited a severe reprimand from the judiciary. The Allahabad High Court had also rapped the state government for the move.

A bench of Justice RK Agarwal and Justice RSR Maurya in November observed: "Today you are releasing them, tomorrow you may give them the Padma Bhushan!" The court had said whether those arrested were terrorists or not would be decided by the court and not by the state government, and had asked for a clarification for the withdrawal of the case.

First Published: December 18, 2012, 1:05 PM IST
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