Kozhikode Twin blasts – Deadly Terrorists acquitted

published on August 16, 2011

Twin blasts: NIA to appeal against acquittal of Halim, Yusuf

VR Jayaraj | Kochi

The NIA will file an appeal in the Kerala High Court challenging the acquittal of Muhammad Abdul Halim and Aboobacker Yusuf, third and seventh accused respectively in the Kozhikode twin blasts case. Halim and Yusuf were acquitted on July 11 by the Special NIA Court in Kochi, while convicting first accused Thadiyantavide Nazeer and fourth accused Shafaz.

The agency, which has been advised to appeal against the acquittal of the two for various reasons, will soon seek the permission of the Union Home Department for this. According the NIA, both Halim and Yusuf had played key roles in the conspiracy behind the two explosions that occurred in Kozhikode city on March 3, 2006.

Special Judge S Vijayakumar had acquitted Halim by giving him the benefit of doubt while Yusuf was acquitted in the absence of sufficient evidences against him. Both Halim and Yusuf were arrested by the Kerala Police and were handed over to the agency after preliminary interrogations.

Legal experts have told the NIA that the acquittal of the two would cause serious problems in the continuance of the twin blasts case. Though two of the accused had been convicted and sent to jail, the trial in the case has not been completed because two more accused, Muhammad Azhar and PP Yusuf who are said to be hiding in the Gulf, are yet to be arrested.

The NIA court had last Friday awarded three life terms to Nazeer and two to his aide Shafaz for committing the extremist act. The agency has now got the advice that the acquittal of Halim and Yusuf is not legally maintainable as the same NIA court had found Nazeer and Shafaz guilty of all the charges the agency had slapped on them.

The Kerala Police had arrested Abdul Halim, a native of Kannur and a former activist of Bangalore blasts accused Abdul Nasser Madani’s PDP, on July 22, 2009 as part of the investigations into the pipe bomb blast at the Ernakulam district collectorate building on July 10 that year. He had confessed to his role in the Kozhikode blasts during the interrogation.

According to investigators, Halim, an expert in time-bomb assembly, had put together the explosives that went off in the Moffusil bus stand the KSRTC bus station in Kozhikode city. Halim is said to have learned the art of bomb-making from Sainuddeen alias Abdul Sattar, who was accused of making the bombs used in the in Bangalore terror attack of July, 2008.

Yusuf was taken into custody by the Kerala Police on December 22, 2009 from his house at Parappanangadi in Muslim-majority Malappuram district in connection with the investigation into the Kalamassery bus-burning incident of September, 2005, in which Nazeer was prime accused, on the basis of information provided by Halim.

He had reportedly told the interrogators that it was he who had brought the bombs to be planted in Kozhikode from Kannur and that he had placed the explosives at the clock room of the KSRTC bus station. Yusuf had also admitted that he too, like Halim, knew bomb-making and had taken part in the assembly of the explosives for Kozhikode.

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