HC rejects UP plea to drop charges

The Akhilesh Yadav government suffered a setback on Friday when a court in Barabanki district rejected its plea to withdraw the case against 2007 Gorakhpur blasts accused Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid, who are alleged to be HuJI operatives. Senior UP minister Mohammed Azam Khan said that the state government will appeal against the court order. The state government has moved an application in the court requesting permission to withdraw the case against them.
The government had pleaded that it wanted to withdraw the cases in public interest and for the sake of communal harmony, but had not elaborated on both the points.
The court said the government did not file an affidavit with the application and despite being a confidential document, it was given to the court in an open envelope.
On this basis, the court rejected the government’s application.
It may be recalled that on April 24, the state government had sent a latter to the court requesting that charges against Tariq Qasmi, an accused in the Gorakhpur blasts, be dropped. The blast took place in May 2007 at Golghar crossing through a bomb planted on a bicycle.
Six persons were injured in the blast. The special task force of the UP police had later arrested the two alleged Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami operatives from near Barabanki railway station with explosives.
The Samajwadi Party had promised in its election manifesto that it will review cases against “innocent” Muslim youth lodged in jail on charges of attacks in Rampur as well as in serial blasts in courts of Faizabad, Barabanki, Lucknow and also in Gorakhpur and Varanasi.
Following the victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the Akhilesh Yadav government was under pressure from clerics and Muslim organisations to honour its promise.

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