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Arrested under UAPA, J&K pharmacist granted bail after 8 months; was falsely implicated in militancy case, says court

Srinagar: A Jammu court has granted bail to a pharmacist accused of having links with militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen and arrested under the stringed Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act back in January.

The court also censured the Investigating Officer of falsely implicating the accused even as it found no evidence against him.

Sunit Gupta, Special Judge under Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act) Sunit Gupta, granted interim bail to Zahoor Ahmed, a resident of Renie, Tehsil Marwah, in Kishtwar district.

A Junior Pharmacist by profession, Zahoor was arrested on January 6, 2020 after he and nine others were accused of being over-ground workers of Hizb. He was arrested and offences under sections 13,18,19, 39 of UA(P) Act were attributed against him.

As per the chargesheet, Zahoor and the nine others were accused of “providing information with regard to the security forces to the militants for facilitating them to carry out attack with intention to hurt the integrity of the country and also arranging funds to active militant Mohammad Amin alias Jahangir Saroori.”

Saroori, a resident of Kishtwar, has been evading arrest since 1990.

While granting bail, the court observed that it could not find even a single witness whose statements were recorded under section 161 or 164 Cr.PC who have uttered even a single word against Zahoor.

In a separate case that was filed by Kishtwar police station against him in 2019, he was accused of providing medicine to Saroori and three others on the instant of one Akther Hussain, resident of Kishtwar.

 “… when the investigation officer of the case did not find any evidence against the accused, he manages to annex a photostat copy of the statement of one witness namely Akhter Hussain which was recorded under section 164 Cr.Pc in some other case vide FIR No. 229/2019 of police station Kishtwar and with the strength of the said copy of the statement, the IO had made a successful attempt to falsely implicate the accused Zahoor Ahmed and even as per the statement, the accused Zahoor Ahmed is not genuinely found to be involved in any such activity which may be said to be an offence under UA(P) Act,” the court observed in the order, a copy of which was viewed by The Kashmir Monitor.

The court further observed: “Since the accused Zahoor Ahmed happens to be a pharmacist and he was supposed to be in possession of some medicines and as such while performing his professional duty if he was intending to deliver some medicine even to the terrorist, he cannot be said to have been involved in any of the offence under UA(P)Act.”

 With these observations, the court granted interim bail directing him not to leave the territorial limits of J&K without prior written permission of the court.