Minorities

Five accused including four from JK acquitted in Samleti blast case after 23 years

Photo: Indian Express

Five men who were accused in the 1996 Samleti blast case were on Monday acquitted by the Jaipur High Court after 23 years as the prosecution could not establish any link between them and the main accused, Dr Abdul Hameed, whose death sentence was upheld, reported the Indian Express.

At 5:19 pm on Tuesday, Latif Ahmed Baja (42), Ali Bhatt (48), Mirza Nisar (39), Abdul Goni (57) and Rayees Beg (56), stepped out of prison; Beg had been incarcerated since June 8, 1997, while the others were imprisoned between June 17, 1996 and July 27, 1996. During this time, they were lodged in jails in Delhi and Ahmedabad, but were never released on parole or bail.

After their release Tuesday, the five men said they didn’t know each other until the Criminal Investigation Department (Crime Branch) made them an accused in the case. While Beg is a resident of Agra, Goni is from Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, and the others are from Srinagar. Before they were jailed, Bhatt had a carpet business, Baja used to sell Kashmiri handicraft in Delhi and Kathmandu, Nisar was a Class IX student and Goni used to run a school.

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