The Kerala High Court has acquitted two alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives in the 2006 twin bomb blasts case. In a decision released Wednesday, the court allowed an appeal against the life sentences handed out by the NIA special court to the acquitted men. In addition, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has declined to file an appeal against the acquittal of two alleged LeT operatives in the twin bomb blasts case.
The case was brought against Nazeer, a former employee of the LeT, on the basis that he conspired to commit the bomb blasts and was a key planner. The Special Court for NIA cases found Nazeer and Shafts guilty of all the charges and sentenced them to life imprisonment. However, the High Court has said that the prosecution’s main witness was not reliable, and their conduct could not have led to the explosions.
The two alleged LeT operatives were acquitted on Friday after the Kerala High Court allowed their appeals against their life sentences. The Division Bench of Justices Ok Vinod Chandran and Ziyad Rahman dismissed the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) appeal that had challenged the acquittals of the two prime accused.
Thadiyantevida Nazeer, an alleged LeT operative, and Shafas, an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, were acquitted in a separate trial on March 3, 2006. The alleged operatives had faced multiple charges for their involvement in the bombings and were convicted. Both Nazeer and Shafas were sentenced to double life imprisonment in 2012. The NIA has also decided not to file an appeal against the acquittal.
Two alleged LeT operatives have been acquitted by the Kerala High Court. In the 2006 Kozhikode twin blasts case, both Nazir and Shafas were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Both of them were acquitted after the NIA’s special court ruled against their appeals. The NIA had failed to win an appeal for both of them.
The acquittal of the two men was a major setback for the National Investigation Agency. In 2011, a court in Kerala acquitted Naseer and Shafas in the 2006 twin blasts case. Both were convicted in 2009 and 2011. The NIA had acquitted the alleged LeT operative, Abdul Halim.
On Thursday, the High Court in Kerala acquitted the two alleged LeT operatives, Aboobacker Yusuf and Thadiyantevida Naseer. The acquittals come after a special court in the NIA took over the probe of the twin Kozhikode explosions. The NIA’s appeals were denied in both cases.
The NIA’s charge sheet stated that the two alleged LeT operatives, Nazeer and Shafas, conspired to execute the bomb blasts in 2006, and a third man, Abubacker Yusuf, had planned to do it. The NIA’s investigation into the twin blasts led to the convictions of the four. Nevertheless, the court acquitted three alleged LeT operatives, Abdul Halim, and Aboobacker Yusaf.
The High Court of Kerala’s Division Bench rejected the appeals of the two alleged LeT operatives. The NIA had claimed that both of the men had planned to carry out bomb blasts. The alleged LeT operatives, Thadiyantevida Nazeer and Abubacker Yusuf, had been convicted in 2011.
The court found that there was insufficient evidence to convict A1 to A4, and that the alleged LeT operatives had not carried out the blasts. The high court noted that there was no forensic evidence to support the claims made by the alleged LeT operatives. The case was brought to court in December of last year and the NIA lapsed in the investigation.