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Sinister cell (Part II): How Delhi police created fake terrorists


It was supposed to fight terror, instead the Delhi police’s Special Cell started creating fake terrorists. It must now answer to the law.

On 18 September, the NIA declared the cell’s informer Sabir Khan Pathan a fugitive and announced a cash reward of Rs 2 lakh for him.

The agency is investigating the arrest of Liaquat Shah, a surrendered militant from Kashmir, for terrorism. It has accused nine senior officers of the cell of framing Shah and asked the home ministry to launch an inquiry against them.

The officers had allegedly used Pathan to plant explosives which were later shown to have been recovered from Shah.

The special cell might have quite a bit of explaining to do when Shah’s case is next heard by a Delhi court in early November. It’s about time too, given how many high-profile cases of “foiled terrorist attacks” have fallen flat.

The Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association has compiled a list of 24 such cases in a recently released book, Framed, Damned, Acquitted: Dossiers Of A Very Special Cell’.

It’s not even the first such list. In 2012, the JTSA had detailed several “terror cases” allegedly cooked up by the special cell.

The report had caused a furore, forcing the police to come out with a rebuttal: the cases brought by the special cell had a conviction rate of 68%. This claim wasn’t true as an RTI request later revealed the conviction rate to be less than 30%.

Here, we list five cases from the JTSA’s new book, a copy of which was provided exclusively to Catch.

The cases are bound by two common threads. One, all the victims claim to have been picked up illegally and tortured for confessions. Two, the special cell has provided bizarre explanations when questioned about the sequence of events or evidence.

02- Mohammed Iqbal & Mushtaq Ahmad Kalloo

The case

The duo were arrested from Kaudia Pul in Delhi while trying to hand over explosives to their associates.

Both were JeM operatives and had come to Delhi from Deoband by train.

Rs 5 lakh hawala money was recovered from them as well as 2 kilos of explosives.

The flaws

Their association with the JeM was never proved.

Iqbal proved in court that the money found on him was payment for a gas agency in Delhi; it was a business transaction.

The witnesses who had supposedly watched the arrest admitted in court that they had never even seen the accused.

Inspector Sharma, who led the probe, was not made a witness.

The Delhi High Court couldn’t understand why, if police knew the two men were carrying explosives, they did not arrest them before they boarded a packed train.

Why weren’t they arrested as soon as they got off the train and instead allowed to travel to Kaudiya Pul with 2 kilos of high-grade explosives?

The court refused to accept the “falsity and improbability of the prosecution story”.

The outcome

The high court acquitted both the Kashmiri men.

To be continue tomorrow…

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