Ahmedabad blasts ‘mastermind’ innocent: rights body

December 14th, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Dec 14 (IANS) A fact-finding team of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has given a clean-chit to Abu Bashar Qasmi who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police four months back and declared the mastermind of the Ahmedabad serial blasts by the Gujarat police.According to a report released to the media Sunday, Abu Bashar, 22, was “literally dragged and kidnapped from his house in village Beena Para in Azamgarh district of UP (Uttar Pradesh) in the morning of Aug 14, 2008 by unidentified men in plain clothes who came in two vehicles”.

The report claims “complaints were immediately filed with the local police station as well as faxes sent to the district magistrate and also the chief minister. Local newspapers reported this event the next day. Two days later, the UP ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) showed his arrest from the Lucknow railway station.”

A series of 20 blasts in July this year had claimed 45 lives and injured more than 100 people in Ahmedabad.

Gujarat state police chief P.C. Pande named Bashar as the mastermind and described him as president of Indian Mujahideen (alleged cover for the banned SIMI), which sent e-mails claiming responsibility for some of these blasts.

The Gujarat police also claimed that he had travelled to Kerala and Gujarat to impart training to others and was also involved in planning Jaipur and Uttar Pradesh court complexes blasts.

The 8-member PUCL team comprising Magsaysay awardee Sandeep Pandey, two senior retired Indian Police Service officers and a few prominent social activists said Abu Bashar was the eldest of six brothers among seven siblings and he was from an extremely poor family.

“Bashar’s father was been affected by paralysis and brain haemorrhage and mother too was not fully physically fit. They lived in a mud house. Abu Bashar is physically very weak, probably not weighing more than 40 kg. He could not even ride a bicycle. Neither did he know how to operate a mobile phone,” said the report.

He studied to become a Maulvi at Madarsatul Islah. In 2004 he went to Darul Uloom, Deoband to become a Mufti. In 2005 he went in search of a job to Hyderabad and was teaching for Rs.2,000 per month in a Madrassa belonging to Maulvi Abdul Aleem.

He returned to his village in February 2008 to look after his ailing parents. Except for his visit for study and job, he never travelled for any other purpose, the report said.

The headmaster of Intermediate College in Beena Para, Abu Sufyan remembers him as a lean, shy and confused boy. The headmaster said that he never spoke to Abu Bashar because he thought that Bashar was not capable of any intellectual conversation.

“Mahendra Chaudhary, additional superintendent of police belonging to Rajasthan police and investigating officer in the Jaipur blasts, has confirmed to us that the Gujarat police does not have a single concrete evidence against Abu Bashar,” claimed the report.

It also quotes arrested SIMI chief Shahid Badra Falahi as claiming that Bashar had never been a member of the outfit.

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