To wipe out ‘terror tag’, slain SIMI men’s lawyer wants trial to go on
The lawyer for seven of the eight suspected SIMI members killed in a controversial encounter following their alleged jailbreak in Madhya Pradesh wants to keep his dead clients alive before the court.
Lawyer Parvez Alam wants the trials to continue to prove that his clients were not “terrorists”. In normal course, trial is closed against an accused after death.
Alam will request a Bhopal court not to close the trial against three of his clients in a case which was in an advanced stage. He intends to take the same route in other cases against his clients, whose killing by the police on October 31 was questioned by opposition and activists after the emergence of purported encounter videos. The MP government, subsequently, ordered a judicial probe into the encounter.
The eight suspected Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) men were accused in about 23 cases in MP. The cases included those for robbery, murder and escaping from prison twice — in 2013 and 2016. They were also accused in bomb blast cases in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu.
“On the next date of hearing in one of the cases on December 1, 2016, I will submit an application before the honorable court not to close the trial of three of my clients gunned down in the alleged encounter on October 31 morning,” said Alam.
On Thursday, he had requested chief judicial magistrate, Bhubhaskar Yadav, to allow the trial of three of his seven dead clients. “It is my promise to ensure that even after death my clients are proved innocent, and their ‘tag of terror’ is wiped out.”
Government counsel Rajendra Upadhyaya responded, “Let the defence counsel move an application for trial of those accused who died in the encounter. We’ll suitably counter that in the court.”
Alam said, “Most of the cases are at evidence production stage. The prosecution has framed charges, including involvement in terror activities.”
Alam’s clients killed in the encounter were Sheikh Mehboob alias Guddu, Zaqir Hussain, Abdul Majid, Saliq alias Sallu, Aqeel Khilji, Mujeeb Sheikh and Amjad.
Outside MP, some of those killed had been booked for the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts, a blast in Bijnor in West UP, robbery of Rs 46 lakh from a bank in Karimnagar (Telangana), a train blast in Chennai in 2014 in which a woman software professional was killed, and a blast outside a police station in Pune in July 2014. Four of the eight slain suspected SIMI men were also accused of murdering two police personnel and injuring four in Nalgonda (Telangana) in April 2015.