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When Special Cell is busy catching ‘terrorists’, why bother about two Muslims acquitted of terror charges?


New Delhi: Last week, a number of media outlets highlighted the Malegaon case and the subsequent acquittal of Muslim youths who had been falsely detained and called masterminds of the blasts. For a number of people, the news went on to reiterate their faith in the judicial system, and reaffirmed their views that one must be called innocent until proven guilty. For many Muslims who are still in jail over such charges, this moment presented a small beacon of hope. For Dr Jalees Ansari, such moments are the only reason to continue fighting.

Dr Jalees Ansari, a man in his 50s now, has been waiting for his own Malegaon moment: for the past 22 years, he has been accused of orchestrating blasts from Rajasthan to Maharashtra to Hyderabad and called ‘Dr Bomb’

In December 2015, he was acquitted by the Hyderabad city metropolitan court after a 22-year wait. Ansari was alleged by CBI to be instrumental in the series of bomb blasts in city at Abids, Humayunnagar police station, Gopalapuram railway reservation centre, Madina education centre and in AP Express on December 6 and 7, 1993, to mark the first anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition. Interestingly, however, the Hyderabad police had claimed that Ansari confessed to his involvement after his arrest. His alleged confessional statement in Hyderabad case was used by prosecution to prove charges in other cases including Ajmer case in which he had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

On May 4, 2016, the Supreme Court dismissed the order passed by Special TADA court in Rajasthan in 2004 awarding a 15-year sentence to Ansari and a 20-year sentence to another accused, Abre Rehmat in relation to the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai trains. Two other accused, Jamal Alvi and Dr Habib, had already been acquitted in this regard. His lawyer, Irshad Hamid, confirmed to that Ansari had indeed been acquitted of all charges in the case.

This story barely made it into the national media, and for good reason: the mainstream Media was instead occupied by the achievements of Delhi Special Cell.

The same day, the Special Cell had caught hold of 12 people, alleged to be terrorists who had been planning to attack the city. This is precisely the kind of story that the mainstream media loves: India Today, in fact, had no qualms in even saying so in its Headline. ‘Delhi Police nabs 12 Jaish Terrorists’ it claimed. Let alone the fact that they have been just caught, or that there might be the tiniest of chance that the ones caught might be innocent. That is unimaginable for the media to think about.

Remember, this is the same Special Cell which, in March, couldn’t manage to take cases against Abdul Karim Tunda into trial: the evidence presented by the Special Cell was deemed unsatisfactory to even take the cases in trial stage. But when News agencies compete with each other to be the Master’s favourite voice, truth is likely to be the first casualty.

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