Delhi: Patiala House Court in Delhi has discharged Islamic preacher Maulana Anzar Shah Qasmi, who was arrested in January 2016 for his alleged links to Al Qaeda. Court has further asked to frame charge sheet against other 4 accused involved in this case.
The other accused — Mohammad Asif, Abdul Rehman and Zafar Masood — were charged under sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, to which they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
Qasmi was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell over his alleged links to an Al Qaeda Indian Subcontinent module that is under investigation. Additional Sessions Judge Siddhartha Sharma held the evidence presented by the Special Cell of Delhi Police deemed unfit to even take the case to trial.
Qasmi’s advocate M S Khan said that evidence against Qasmi was fabricated and hence he was discharged.
“The Police’s case was built on two major points: one, that Qasmi helped a member of AQIS meet another operative in Bangalore. One of these operatives was arrested from Sambhal in December 2015 and is still in jail. The police said they exchanged letters but was unable to produce them. Second, Police said Qasmi had been sermons asking people to join AQIS. Again, they could not produce a single evidence to substantiate his claim”, said Khan.
Qasmi was born and brought up in Bangalore and turned a cleric following his education in the city. He worked at a madrassa for 10 years in Byrasandra. He was Imam and Khatib of Makkah Masjid, Banashankari, Bangalore at the time of his arrest.
This is not the first time that Delhi Police has seen their investigation fail to even reach trial stage against what they claim to be a “top” operative of the terror module in India. Last year, they had similarly seen four cases against Abdul Karim Tunda discharged. although Tunda was recently awarded life imprisonment in 1996 Sonepat bomb blasts case.