Srinagar, Dec 11: A special court has acquitted all the five persons accused of killing the Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadith Chief, Molvi Showkat. One of the accused had already expired during the trial.
Prominent Jamiat-e-Ahl-e-Hadis cleric, Molvi Showkat Ahmad Shah was killed in an IED explosion outside a mosque in Maisuma on April 8, 2011. The slain cleric was a close friend of Muhammad Yasin Malik and had earlier been arrested under Public Safety Act for leading protests during the 2010 unrest. This sent Kashmir into mourning and the police quickly started the investigations.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police registered a case (FIR No 17 of 2011 under section 302, 7/27 A Act, 4/5 Exp Sub Act 13, 18 Unlawful Activities Act) filed a challan against five persons before a special court designated for POTA and TADA cases in Srinagar on July 14, 2011. The elaborate investigation listed as many as 105 witnesses.
After more than nine years, the court presided by judge Ashwani Kumar observed that the charges against the accused were not proved. All the six were acquitted of all the charges.
Of the accused, one, Abdul Gani Dar alias Abdullah Gaznavi had already died on February 2, 2020.
Five others who were acquitted include Nisar Ahmad Khan alias Ishaq son of Mohammad Aslam, resident of Khan Colony, Chanpora; Javed Ahmad Munshi alias Bul Papa son of Ghulam Ahmad, a resident of Chutan, Chanpora; Abdul Majid Daralias Madni son of Abdul Qadir, a resident of Khanpora Budgam; Gulzar Khan son of Ghulam Khan a resident of Baila, currently in Bemina and Reyaz Ahmad Shah son of Mohammad Yousuf Shah, a resident of Zaffron Colony, Pathachowk.
The verdict was announced virtually. Of the five surviving accused, three were already out on bail and two were still in jail. One of them was in Central Jail Srinagar and another in Central Jail Kot Balwal. Directions for their release have been conveyed to the respective jail authorities.