Islamic preacher has no links with terror outfit: Court

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) A court here has discharged Islamic preacher Maulana Syed Anzar Shah, observing there was no evidence to show he delivered ‘jihadi’ speech or travelled abroad and was a member of Al Qaeda.

There was no incriminating evidence against Shah except a disclosure statement that was not admissible on record and no recovery was effected from Shah on the basis of the said disclosure statement, the court said in its order on Monday.

However, the court ordered framing of charges against Abdul Sami, Zafar Masood, Abdul Rehman and Mohammed Asif under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). There was prima facie sufficient evidence and incriminating material against them, the court said.

Shah was facing charges under Sections 18 (conspiracy), 18B (punishment for recruiting any person or persons for terrorist act) and 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation) of UAPA.

“It is seen that Syed Anzar Shah never travelled abroad and there is no evidence of any ‘jihadi’ speech delivered by him or any intercepted calls or any other electronic evidence to connect him with any terrorist activity,” the court said in its detailed order delivered last week.

The court said mere suspicion cannot form the basis for framing of charges against the accused.

Shah’s counsel M.S. Khan said his client was employed as a ‘maulavi’ at a Bengaluru mosque and did not have links with terrorist groups.

The Delhi Police on June 10, 2016 filed the chargesheet against five accused, who it said were suspected Al Qaeda members. Police also charge-sheeted 12 other operatives who are on the run.

Shah was arrested on January 6 last year from Bengaluru.

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