Ghazala Ahmad | Clarion India
LUCKNOW – Allahabad High Court has granted bail to two Muslim men, Mohd. Mustaqeem and Mohammad Shakeel, who were arrested by the Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in July 2021 for their alleged links with an Al Qaeda-affiliated outfit.
A bench of Justice Attau Rahman Masoodi and Justice Om Prakash Shukla granted the bail to the duo, advocate Furqan Pathan informed Clarion India, who is representing the accused in the case.
Speaking to Clarion India, Advocate Saif Ali, who is one of the counsels, said, “5 Muslim men were nabbed by UP ATS between 11 to 14 July in 2021 on terror charges, two of them have been granted bail by Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court”.
On 14 July 2021, Mohd Mustaqeem and Mohammad Shakeel along with Mohammed Mueed hailing from the western district of Muzaffarnagar were arrested by UP ATS and were lodged in Lucknow’s district jail, accusing them of being affiliated with the Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind, a Kashmir origin outfit linked to the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda.
The men were booked in the First Information Report (FIR) No. 0010/2021 on several charges, including Section 124A (sedition) of the Indian Penal Code 1860, sections 13, 18, 18B, 20, 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 (UAPA), as well as provisions under the Explosive Substances Act 1908 and the Arms Act, 1959.
On July 11, Mushiruddin and Minhaj Ahmed were also arrested on similar charges.
Advocate Furqan Pathan told Clarion India, “Two out of the five arrested have been granted bail today. Mustaqeem and Shakeel can walk out of jail after submitting surety fixed by the court, while Mushir, Minhaj and Musheer will remain in jail”.
The current regime is often accused of abusing draconian anti-terror law UAPA. Members of minority communities, political dissenters, activists and journalists are booked under the anti-terror law.
The 2022 data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)’s report suggests that Uttar Pradesh, along with Assam and Manipur are amongst the states recording the highest number of cases under the category of “offences against the state” (sedition and UAPA).
As of 2020, 72 cases under the UAPA were reportedly registered in UP, as per the NCRB’s report.