Kerala HC acquits two Muslim men arrested by NIA in bomb-blast case

A file photo of High Court of Kerala

Kerala: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India on Thursday suffered a serious setback when Kerala High Court acquitted Thadiyantevida Nazeer and Shafaz, the key suspects in the Kozhikode twin bomb case.

The court also dismissed the probe agency’s appeal against the acquittal of the other two accused in the case.

The attack took place on third March 2006, at the Kozhikode Mofussil bus station and the KSRTC station. The case was investigated by local police at first and NIA later.

The first and fourth accused of the case, Nazeer and Shafaz, had filed an appeal seeking to quash the life sentence imposed on them by the NIA Special Court Ernakulam.

However, the duo refuted the trial court’s finding that they had committed offenses under the draconian UAPA.

The NIA had filed a chargesheet in 2010, under sections of the UAPA, IPC, and Explosive Substances Act. According to chargesheet, the blast was reportedly planned in protest against the denial of bail to some Muslim accused in the 2003 Marad communal riots case.

A Division Bench of Justice Vinod K Chandran and Justice C. Jayachandran also dismissed the appeal filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging the trial court’s order acquitting two other accused in the case, Abdul Halim and Abubaker Yusuf, Live Law reported.

There were nine accused in the case. The second accused Mohammed Ashar and the eighth accused PP Yusaf were absconding at the time of the trial, but the NIA had arrested them in 2019, ten years after NIA started the probe. Sixth accused Fayiz died during the trial of the case while seventh accused Shammi Firoz turned approver and was examined as a witness. The fifth accused Abul Jaleel was not included in the charge sheet filed by the NIA.

Two persons, including a policeman, had sustained minor injuries in the blast.


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