By MM Special Correspondent.
Sholapur: There is an old adage, ‘Justice delayed, Justice denied’. It can be amply employed on those persons who have been implicated in terror cases and let off by courts but after spending their precious life in jail. Latest victims of this sordid saga are the 13 youths from the textile town of Maharashtra who have been now exonerated all terror charges by session court here on Tuesday. They were booked under the various sections of Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in a 2003 terror case. However, it is an irony that they were absolved of all charges after undergoing 11 long year’s ordeal.
Sholapur Session Court Judge N N Dhend acquitted all the 13 accused for want of evidence as they were arrested by Maharashtra police on August 8, 2003 on the charges of plotting to make crude bombs for explosion. Police had allegedly recovered a small amount of explosive material from some of the accused. Soon after their arrest, police had invoked sections of POTA in the case. All the accused were released on bail after spending six months behind bars. Police produced 62 witnesses in the case but prosecution examined only 14 of them. However, all the witnesses were declared hostile by the court.
It is to mention here that the previous UPA government had scrapped dreaded law POTA in 2004 but not with retrospective effect. Because of this, many innocents have been languishing in jails.
Those, who got absolved of all charges, are Farooq Tabeeb, Imaan Nadaf, Hamid Mulla, Mahboob Daula, Anwar Shaikh, Mansoor Shaikh, Ghulam Shaikh, Mudassir Shaikh, Ibrahim Momin, Mubin Shaikh, Yaqub Saudagar, Jabbar Shaikh, and Rahman Shaikh.