Mumbai: The state’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Thursday submitted a charge sheet before a special court in the case concerning arrests of those linked with the Popular Front of India (PFI).
Multi-state raids on alleged PFI members
The charge sheet was submitted after two extensions of 30 days and 15 days each after the 90-day deadline to submit the probe document ended in mid-December last year. Five persons - Mazhar Khan, Sadiq Qureishi, Mohd Iqbal Khan, Moinuddin Momin and Aasif Khan - were arrested in September last year in the case during multi-state raids on alleged members of the PFI.
Sought more time for analysis
Seeking more time for filing the chargesheet, the ATS had told the court earlier that it had collected voluminous data from the accused, as much as 627 GB from only one accused and that it needed more time for analysis of the collected data. The prosecution had also informed the court that the analysis of the call detail records has revealed that the accused are connected with the arrested people in other states associated with the organisation. Defence advocates had opposed the extension of time for the ATS to file the chargesheet and contended that it was only a guise to curtail their liberty.
Alleged links with terror outfits
While seeking their custody for investigation, the ATS had informed the court that it needs to probe their links with the terror organisations Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) but had in future proceedings, not mentioned anything on this aspect. The ATS had alleged that one of the accused, an advocate, had travelled across the country and it suspects it was for terror activities. The accused’s advocate had argued that the travels were for researching the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) by meeting lawyers and accused persons over it and had submitted his research to two organizations, who had, in turn, used it to challenge the law before the apex court through petitions.
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