Tahlka News Bureau
New Delhi: Former Aligarh University (AMU) researcher scholar and suspected Hizbul Mujahideen operative Gulzar Ahmad Wani has been acquitted by a court in Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki district on Saturday of all charges in 2000 Sabarmati Express blast case.
"The court of additional sessions judge MA Khan acquitted Wani and co-accused Abdullah Mubeen of all charges due to lack of evidence," Prabhat Singh, Wani's council said. Mobin was already on bail since 2008 in which a dozen of people were injured.
Judge MA Khan has observed that no evidence had been produced by the police before the court against Gulzar Ahmad Wani and Abdul Mobeen.
Both have been produced by the police on the basis of portraying them as SIMI members in the Sabarmati Express blast, said the court.
On August 14, 2000 a dozen of people were injured after a bomb went of on the Sabarmati Express in Barabanki district, 25 km away from state capital Lucknow.
Wani, who pursuing his PhD in AMU's Arabic department, was arrested from New Delhi on July 31 2001, as an accused in the case. He was 28 at that time.
He was a resident of Tapper Pattan in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, has been in jail since then.
After Saturdays verdict, Wani would be a free man after languishing behind bars for 16 years. His family, the council said, was in Lucknow to complete his release formalities from the jail.
Wani was also accused of being a conspirator in 10 other cases of explosions and slapped with FIORs in different police station of Delhi, Maharashtra and UP prior to 2000. But he was acquitted in all other cases.
This year on April 25, the Supreme Court termed Wani's custody spanning over 16 years without bail as "shame".
"He has been acquitted in 10 out the 11 cases but still you want him to be in jail without bail," a bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and justice DY Chandrachud told the council for UP government, who opposed Wani's bail.
The top court however, have fixed a date for his release even if the trail was incomplete.
Among the 11 cases, Wani was only convicted for 10 year for allegedly carrying explosives to trigger a blast in Delhi. But, Singh, said that his sentence was suspended and that it was one of the longest jail term ever given to a person before being acquitted in all cases.
The only case pending against him was the Sabarmati Express train blast case. "He would have been released on bail on Navember 1,2017, as per SC's Apil25 order for the prosecution could not gather the evidence [against him]," Singh said