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After more than a decade in jail, 2 acquitted, 1 convicted

After spending more than a decade in jail, the three accused in the 2005 Delhi serial blast case finally got their verdict announced by a Delhi court on Thursday. Two of them have been acquitted of all terror charges while one has been convicted under Section 38 and Section 39.

The two acquitted, Mohd Rafiq Shah and Mohd Hussain Fazli were set free after being imprisoned for more than 10 years. The third accused, Tariq Ahmed Dar who has been convicted under Section 38 (being the member of a terror organisation) and Section 39 (giving support to such outfit) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) has already served the maximum punishment in the offence and hence, he too will walk free.

The winter afternoon in a courtroom in Delhi was packed with several lawyers, police, and journalists awaiting the verdict when the Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh asked for the three accused in the case to be produced before him.

After being produced in the court, the judge passed his verdict stating both Mohd Rafiq Shah and Mohd Hussain Fazli have been acquitted of all the terror charges attached to them. But, Tariq Ahmed Dar was convicted of the offence punishable under Section 38 and Section 39 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The senior advocate representing the case, Sushil Bajaj, said, "It would be unfair to say that the police failed in the case, rather I would say that there was no case at all. All the admissible evidences produced against the alleged accused were weak.

Adding on, he said, "The prosecution also struggled to prove that all the three alleged accused were involved in the bombings and were connected to each other."

"The court has not even charged Dar for the bombing. Unfortunately, our judicial system holds no one responsible for making a person lose so many years of his life in jail. The irony lies in the fact that the real accused behind the blasts are still alive and thriving," said Bajaj. But, the acquittal has brought resentment among the families of those who lost their lives in 2005 Delhi serial blasts.

"We will appeal against the judgment in the higher court. The cops are responsible for presenting such a weak case," said Salina Das who lost her son, daughter-in-law and her grandson in the blast in Sarojini Nagar.
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