Bhopal court acquits SIMI operatives in bank robbery case

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Sep 01, 2014 21:47 IST

A special court on Sunday acquitted four alleged Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives, including Abu Faisal, charged with bank robbery bid in Jaora town of Ratlam.

The court held that there was no evidence against the accused that they committed robbery or possessed illegal arms as the prosecution suggested.

According to the prosecution, six armed people had barged into Punjab National Bank (PNB) branch in Jaora town of Ratlam on April 27, 2010 and asked the deputy manager of the bank, Shashikant, for keys of the locker, at gun point.

They got the keys but failed to open the locker. Frustrated, they beat up Shashikant and asked him how to unlock the locker. Shashikant told them that along with the key he had given them, they would need another key, which the cashier of the bank keeps, to open the locker.

The bank had closed and Shashikant and a peon were the only staffers left in the bank. Hearing this, the robbers escaped.

Following investigation, the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) had filed a charge sheet against six SIMI operatives accusing them of robbery and violation of Arms Act. Four of them — Abu Faisal, Mohd Sajid, Mohd Iqrar and Mohd Habib — were arrested while the remaining two, Mohd Aslam and Mohd Ezazuddin, are still at large.

After examining all the evidence and eye witnesses, the court of special judge Brijendra Kumar Sisodia said not only the witnesses refused to recognise the accused but identification parade, which is a must in any case of robbery, was not conducted by the investigation agency. It was also unable to seize arms, which the SIMI operatives supposedly used.

Hence, the court acquitted all the four SIMI operatives.

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