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HC denies bail to IM member Fasih Mahmood in terror case

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court has denied bail to suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) member Fasih Mahmood, who was deported from Saudi Arabia in 2012, in connection with a case of setting up of an alleged illegal arms factory here.
The court said there was no valid reason to grant bail to Mahmood, an aide of IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, considering the gravity of offence and serious allegation against him.
Justice S P Garg noted that the accused has already been denied bail earlier by the high court and the Supreme Court in 2016.
Since the bail has already been declined on merits and there is no substantial change in circumstances, this court finds no valid reasons to grant bail to the petitioner (Mahmood) considering the gravity of the offence and serious allegations against him allegedly being member of an unlawful organisation i.e. Indian Mujahideen in India charged for commission of offences punishable under Section 20 of the UAPA. The bail application is dismissed, the court said in its order.
Section 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) relates to punishment for being a member of a terrorist gang or organisation and it entails a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Mahmood's counsel sought bail, saying that merely because the e-mail IDs of the cousin brother of the accused were found on his laptop, it cannot be taken as an incriminating circumstance against him.
He said no evidence has surfaced to infer if the accused ever attempted to exhort any individual to carry out the activities of IM in India.
However, the bail plea was opposed by public prosecutor Amit Chadha who contended that the allegations against the accused were serious in nature.
The revision petition filed by Mahmood against charges framed by the trial court is pending before the high court and is listed for hearing on May 22. The trial court is also recording statements of prosecution witnesses in the case.
Pursuant to directions of the apex court, the lower court had expedited the trial in the case and has recorded statements of over 50 prosecution witnesses.
Mahmood, along with Bhatkal and several other members of the banned terror outfit, was an accused in the case in which a supplementary charge sheet was recently filed against Bhatkal and one of his close aide Asadullah Akhtar.
The special cell of Delhi Police had alleged that a huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the illegal arms factory located in Meer Vihar area here.
Police had claimed that Bhatkal, Akhtar and others, including Mahmood, were part of the conspiracy to carry out terror strikes in the country.
Mahmood, a mechanical engineer by profession, is allegedly one of the key members of the IM's dreaded Darbhanga module which had carried out various terror strikes in the country since 2008.
He was alleged to be the "motivator" for driving the youth to join the IM. Mahmood was charge sheeted for offences under the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Mahmood was deported from Saudi Arabia and was arrested at the IGI Airport here on October 22, 2012. He was detained in Saudi Arabia in May 2012.
He is accused of being involved in the 2010 blast in Bangalore's Chinaswamy stadium and Jama Masjid shootout case, along with several other suspected operatives of IM.

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First Published: Apr 29 2018 | 3:05 PM IST

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