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NIA arrests absconding accused Mohd Ashar in Calicut twin blast cases

Agency News

New Delhi, Jan 24: National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday arrested an absconding charge sheeted accused Mohammad Ashar soon after his arrival at Delhi IGI airport from Saudi.

According to NIA, Md Ashar, a resident of Thalassery in Kannur, was wanted in Calicut twin IED blasts cases that had occurred at the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and Mofussil Bus stands in Calicut (now Kozhikode) City on March3, 2006 causing injuries to two persons besides damage to property.

The central terror probe agency took over the investigation of the cases on December 18, 2009 and had filed a charge-sheet against eight accused persons, including the absconding accused persons Mohammed Ashar and PP Yusuf on August 1, 2010 under section of 120B, 124A, 153A and 324 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code, sections 16(i) b, 18 and 23 of the Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act besides sections 3,4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act.

Trial in this case against four available accused persons was completed on August 11, 2011 when the Ernakulam designated court for NIA cases convicted accused T Naseer and Safas under various sections of the IPC, UA (P) Act, Explosive Substances Act and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Investigation by the probe agency had revealed that Ashar besides the other absconding accused PP Yusuf were parties to the criminal conspiracy hatched by the main accused T Naseer, Safas and others to carry out IED blasts in Kozhikode City, in protest over the denial of bail to Muslim accused persons involved in the Marad Communal Riots of 2003 at Kozhikode district.

'He, along with PP Yusuf, had assisted T Naseer in preparing the IEDs and had planted the explosive devices at the bus stands in Kozhikode City. Accused Mohd Ashar had gone to Saudi Arabia in 2007 to evade his arrest", the NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal said.

Accused Ashar would be produced before the Special NIA court, New Delhi on Thursday to obtain transit remand to take him to Kochi for his production before the jurisdictional Special Court at Ernakulam, Kerala. (UNI)