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Five face terror charges over RSS worker’s murder in Bengaluru

The matter relates to the murder of Rudresh, an RSS worker, when he was returning after attending a Vijayadashami event in Bengaluru on October 16, 2016.

india Updated: Jan 09, 2018 21:33 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
Rss worker murdered,RSS,Bengaluru
(Representative image)

Five persons were on Tuesday charged under terror law provisions in a case related to the murder of a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist.

The matter relates to the murder of Rudresh, an RSS worker, when he was returning after attending a Vijayadashami event in Bengaluru on October 16, 2016.

The matter was heard in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, where itheld that Asim Sharif, Mohammed Muzeeb Ulla, Wasim Ahmed, Irfan Pasha, and Mohammed Sadiq would be charged both for murder and for committing a terrorist act under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Sharif, who has been named as the conspirator, was the Bengaluru district president of the Popular Front of India (PFI), an Islamist organisation, and as a result the case had generated headlines as it was seen as a direct conflict between the RSS and the PFI.

According to the NIA, the other four accused attacked Rudresh with machetes. It also alleged that all the accused had been indoctrinated by one Abdur Rehman, a leader of the Social Democratic Party of India, which is affiliated to the PFI.

Recently, the BJP in the state had called for a ban on the PFI, accusing it of being a terrorist organisation, after it was alleged that PFI activists were involved in a slew of murders of alleged Sangh activists.

However, MS Shyam Sundar, advocate for the accused, said that he would challenge the use of provisions of the UAPA. “The Act says only those organisations listed in it can be called terrorist organisations. When the organisation is not listed, then there are no grounds for including those sections,” he said.

Shyam Sundar said that there was clearly a case of murder but that the addition of terror charges was disturbing. “Labelling a criminal act as terrorism is unfair,” he said.

The court said it will fix the date of trial on January 27.

First Published: Jan 09, 2018 20:02 IST