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NIA court acquits all accused of killing Jamiat-e-Ahlihadeeth chief

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Raps prosecution for its lapses; ‘miserably failing’ to establish circumstances as would establish conspiracy of murder

Srinagar: An NIA court has acquitted all the people accused of killing Jamiat-e-Ahlihadeeth Jammu and Kashmir chief Maulana Showkat Ahmad Shah in a low-intensity blast outside a mosque in Maisuma area of the city in 2011.

The court of special judge designated under NIA Act Ashwini Kumar Sharma, in a 156 page order issued on Thursday, acquitted all the accused of the charges of murdering Shah.

Giving benefit of the doubt to the accused, the judge observed that the prosecution had “miserably failed” to establish the circumstances that would lead to presumption of commission of the murder of Shah by the accused under a criminal conspiracy.

The court took strong note of the failure of the prosecution to examine the investigating officer of the case.

“The prosecution had failed to examine the IO in the present case and has not rendered any explanation regarding the non-examination of the IO which is fatal to the prosecution case in the present facts and circumstances of the case as the case of the prosecution is entirely based on circumstantial evidence.

“The prosecution had failed to prove the FIR as well as the site plan of the spot,” the judge said.

Dismissing the challan of the prosecution, the court acquitted the six accused and set them at liberty forthwith.

“Since accused number seven and eight have been proceeded under section 512 of the CrPC as such the file is directed to be consigned to records after due compilation and shall be put before the court on the arrest of accused number seven and eight,” it said.

Those accused of killing Shah in a low intensity blast outside the Ahlihadeeth mosque in Maisuma on April 08, 2011 included Mohammad Abdullah Uni, a militant commander, and Fayaz Ahmad, general secretary of Pakistn-administered-Kashmir based United Jehad Council. They were proceeded against under section 512 of the CrPC.

One of the accused — Abdul Gani Dar — was found murdered inside a mosque in February 13 this year.

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