By Mumtaz Alam, Muslim Mirror,
Lucknow, March 30: Around seven months after the RD Nimesh Commission Report submitted to the Uttar Pradesh government, some civil rights and political activists have uploaded operative 135 pages of the 237-page report on Internet. Civil rights groups and family members of Hakim Tariq and Khalid Mujahid — whose arrest (Dec. 2007) by Special Task Force of UP Police was investigated by the Nimesh Commission – had been demanding the Samajwadi Party government of Akhilesh Yadav to make the report public but the government did not heed to the demand. Though the report was leaked a few months back but it was uploaded on Internet on 19th March 2013.
The one-man RD Nimesh Commission has cast doubts over the version of UP police regarding the arrest of Hakim Tariq and Khalid Mujahid. The commission headed by Justice (Retd.) RD Nimesh has also not accepted the police claim that the duo was arrested in Barabanki with huge arms and ammunition in December 2007.
A brief about the case
On 23rd November 2007, several blasts took place at court premises in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow. No one was killed but many people were wounded. Several Muslim youths were rounded up for the blasts. About a month after the blasts, the Special Task Force of UP Police on 22nd December 2007 presented Hakim Tariq and Khalid Mujahid before the media in Barabanki district of UP. The police claimed the duo was arrested from the railway station in the district on the same day with huge arms and ammunition including RDX.
However, the family members of the duo and the villagers claimed the duo was picked about 10 days before and not in Barabanki. According to them, the state police picked Hakim Tariq on 12th December 2007 in Azamgarh and Khalid Mujahid on 16th December in Jaunpur. Many people had witnessed the picking, and a day after their picking the family had filed a complaint with the local police in Azamgarh and Barabanki. When the UP Police presented the duo as arrested in Barabanki on 22nd December, the family members and villagers got infuriated, they came out on the streets to protest. People protested in Azamgarh and Jaunpur and demanded the then chief minister Mayawati to order an inquiry into the arrest of the duo. Succumbing to the public pressure, the chief minister constituted one-man RD Nimesh Commission to look into the claims of the police and the family members of the duo. About five years of inquiry, the commission submitted the report on 31st August 2012.
Findings of the Commission
“The arrest of Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi with objectionable items in the morning of 22nd Dec. 2007 in Barabanki looks doubtful and the statements of the witnesses of the prosecution cannot be believed fully,” said the commission in its report.
The commission recommended legal action against the officers who implicated the duo in the case. “Therefore, it is recommended that the officers and staff who played key role in the conspiracy and thus violated the laws should be identified and legal actions should be taken against them.”
However, the commission itself did not fix responsibility for the lapses on any particular officer citing the case being trialed in court.
“The above case is pending before the District Court, Barabanki, so at this level we cannot fix responsibility on any person involved in the incident,” said the commission.
The Commission also made 12 recommendations to the state government to check recurrence of such incidents.
“In a terror case, a gazetted officer out of Police department should be made witness to recovery,” recommended the commission.
“Interrogation of the accused should be recorded on video,” is another recommendation.
“Special Courts should be set up to hear such cases,” recommended the commission.
Civil group moving court seeking summoning of the commission report in the court
The case of Hakim Tariq and Khalid Mujahid is pending before the Barabanki district court as according to the police they were arrested at the railway station of Barabanki with arms and ammunition.
Meanwhile, to put pressure on the Samajwadi Party government of Uttar Pradesh to release the RD Nimesh Commission report, a civil group has decided to file a petition in the Barabanki district court seeking summoning of the Nimesh Commission report as its findings are countering the claims of the prosecution in the case of Tariq and Mujahid.
Awami Council for Democracy and Peace is going to file the petition under section 311 of Code of Criminal Procedure on 2nd April.
“The duo is being trialed on the basis of the charge-sheet filed by the police while the government-appointed commission has found that the very arrest of the duo was illegal. That’s why in the larger interest of the public we are going to file the petition seeking summoning of the Nimesh Commission report,” Asad Hayat of Awami Council for Democracy and Peace told Muslim Mirror over phone. He informed that he would file the petition on 2nd April.
“It is a serious matter of human and civil rights. The state government should not sit on this precious report. As it is sleeping on the report, I am moving the court to put pressure on the government,” Hayat said.