1998 blasts convicts to be set free To Mark Anna’s Birth Centenary, 10 To Be Released

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by natarajan, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    In a controversial move, 10 prisoners belonging to the outlawed Al-Umma, who were serving sentences for their role in the Coimbatore serial blasts of 1998, will be released on Tuesday to coincide with the birth centenary celebrations of DMK founder and former chief minister CN Annadurai.
    The state government on Monday announced that prisoners sentenced to specific terms and who had completed 10 years in jail would be released, with the consent of the governor, to mark the conclusion of Anna’s birth centenary celebrations. “As per this norm, 10 prisoners will be freed on September 15,” it said.
    The release did not disclose the names of the prisoners, but enquiries revealed that they were all convicts in the Coimbatore blasts case. According to sources, the 10 convicts to be freed are Shahul Hameed, Abdul Rahman, Fakruddin Ali Ahmed, Abdul Farook, Yousuf, Abbas, Yousuf alias Shahjahan, Ashraf, Mohammed Farook and Abdul Rahoof, all members of the Islamic extremist group. They are all serving 13-year sentences and have been in custody since mid-1998, which means that they have completed roughly a little more than 11 years of their sentences. Of these, Yousuf alias Shajahan may not be able to avail of the remission immediately, as he is facing another case, the sources said.
    In October 2007, the special court in Coimbatore had sentenced 43 persons, including Al-Umma founder SA Basha and another leader Mohammed Ansari, to life terms and 15 others to 13 years’ rigorous imprisonment. Ten others were awarded 10-year terms and a couple of convicts got seven-year prison terms. The case pertained to the February 14, 1998, blasts in Coimbatore city, in which 58 people were killed and which, the prosecution argued, was aimed at the assassination of BJP leader LK Advani, who was due to address a public meeting in the textile city that day.
    Mass remission questioned in the past
    The TN government has been releasing numerous prisoners in connection with Anna’s birth anniversary. Last year, over 1,400 prisoners were set free on September 15 to mark the commencement of Anna’s birth centenary celebrations. Convicts freed included many serving life terms, who had completed only seven years of their sentence. But the government then said it would not free prisoners convicted in cases involving explosives, arms, narcotics or crimes against women, such as rape and murder. The mass remission led to criticism, and a PIL against it was filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy. This year, the government played it safe by fixing the norm as “those who have served 10 years after being sentenced to a fixed term”. However, the move is likely to be questioned since the convicts are serving sentences for involvement in an act of terrorism. More than 1,400 prisoners were released last year
    Chennai: The DMK government released over 1,400 prisoners on September 15 last year to mark the commencement of Anna’s birth centenary celebrations. The mass remission led to some criticism and a petition challenging the release is pending in the Supreme Court. This time, the government has played it safe by fixing the norm as “those who have served 10 years in prison after being sentenced to a fixed term”.
    Stating that the decision was in conformity with law and was in exercise of the government’s prerogative, a senior official said this time the benefit had been extended to convicts sentenced for fixed terms rather than the lifers. Article 161of the Constitution empowers the governor to grant pardon, commutation or remission of sentence to any prisoner. Officials also pointed out that all prisoners were entitled to remission of 48 days for every year served on grounds of good conduct.
    Jurists pointed out that while the power of the state to grant remission was absolute, while exercising the power the government must take into account all relevant factors, such as the antecedents of the convict and the impact of his release on society. “If any extraneous considerations are brought to the courts’ notice, it can be stalled,” said a senior jurist. Interestingly, both Hindu and Muslim outfits have made a pitch for grant of pardon to convicts belong to their respective communities in the recent past. State BJP president L Ganesan even called on chief minister M Karunanidhi a fortnight ago, seeking the release of three persons owing allegiance to Hindu outfits. Muslim outfits and human rights organizations were arguing the cause of scores of Muslim prisoners lodged in prison following the 1998 Coimbatore blasts cases.
    source
    only god can save us from this netas:2guns:
     
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  3. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    RECAP OF 1998 SERIAL BLASTS When a communal cauldron boiled over

    Around 3.30 pm on February 14, 1998, Coimbatore witnessed a series of explosions — south India’s first serial bomb blasts that left 58 persons killed and over 250 injured. Six hours after the blasts, police received information about Al Umma terrorists’ movements and began raids.
    The building they headed to was on Tirumal Street and a sub-inspector was sent in to do a recce. He saw piles of explosives on his way up and on the terrace a locked bathroom. As he pushed the door, he felt pressure from someone trying to prevent his entry. He fired in the air; the men inside panicked and set off explosives. Six died, but three survived — and these were the ones who provided clues that led to the arrest of more than 180 Al Umma members, crippling an outfit that had been at work for five years.
    Police personnel who recall this deadly encounter feel freeing those involved is wrong as their acts were planned and could be repeated. They had threatened the country’s security and taken many innocent lives, they say, and releasing them may be detrimental to security.
    Coimbatore of the late 1990s was
    a powder keg waiting to go off — and the murder of traffic constable Selvaraj by Al Umma cadre on November 29, 1997, brought matters to a head.
    Police tried to make arrests but were reined in by political intervention. Communal violence broke out — 18 members of the minority community died in rioting, arson and police firing over the next few days. Al Umma founder S A Basha, out on bail after being arrested under TADA for the 1993 RSS headquarters blast in Chennai, planned a massive retaliation, according to police.
    On February 14, when BJP leader LK Advani was due to address an election rally, seven human bombs were deployed but their plans went awry after Advani’s flight was delayed. However, bombs planted at other places went off.
    The CB-CID made massive seizures of explosives, suggesting that the blasts could have been prevented if police had acted earlier. The DMK government held the then police commissioner responsible for failing to act on intelligence on Al Umma hideouts.
    Finally, 168 were chargesheeted in 1999 and the verdict pronounced in 2007, with 158 being sentenced.
    source
     
  4. natarajan

    natarajan Senior Member Senior Member

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    Muslim groups term gesture an ‘eyewash’

    On Tuesday, nine prisoners belonging to the banned Islamic extremist group Al Umma, and convicted for possessing, planting and distributing explosives in Coimbatore in 1998, were released from the Coimbatore Central Prison. The DMK government remitted their 13-year sentences to mark the birth centenary of late chief minister CN Annadurai. Those freed had escaped life sentences because the bombs planted by them did not go off.
    Now, 43 Al Umma convicts, including the outlawed outfit’s leader, SA Basha, who were sentenced to life by a special court in 2007, remain in the Coimbatore prison. The explosions, which rocked Coimbatore minutes before the arrival of BJP leader LK Advani during the 1998 Parliamentary election campaign, killed over 50 people and left several maimed.
    The government’s decision to free the nine prisoners drew sharp criticism from both Muslim groups and the BJP, which was the prime target of the explosions. “How can the government pardon the members of a banned terrorist organisation? It is condemnable and will lead to a spurt in terrorism once again in Tamil Nadu and help the Al Umma, which is lying low now, to rear its head again,” said the BJP’s state vice-president H Raja.
    Some Muslim groups dismissed the releases as an “eyewash”. They pointed to the government’s decision last year to release life convicts who had completed seven years, but not the Al Umma prisoners. “Even if the government had not remitted their sentences, these prisoners would have been let off in a couple of months because of their good conduct. It is just an eyewash by the government, which claims to be a saviour of the minorities,” said Abu Thahir, vice-chairman of the Minorities Trust that is offering legal assistance to the Al Umma convicts.
    “Human bomb” Fakrudeen, who was 17 years old when he was arrested for allegedly carrying explosives in his shoulder bag, said, “I have lost my youth in jail despite having no role in the blasts.” The class III dropout wrote his class VIII exam and completed an automobile mechanics course while in prison. “No one will give me a job because I have been branded a terrorist,” he said.
    source
    Are they expecting government to put garland and give respect like jawans or they want them to provide bombs and explosives to continue such act?
    awkward thing is that they forgot 58 lives but still blabbering something:2guns:
     
  5. Mohan

    Mohan Respected Member

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    :((Fcukin morons.yeah i have read it in the news papers.How could they take that decision, they are not any small criminals and this is your attitude towards them then expect more of these blasts in near future. Who will take the responsibility if there is a crime commited by the same people. This is not sending right message to them.

    Disgusting. I think we have to write letters to the govt to roll back the decision.:((
     

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