15 people were killed and 60 hurt in terror attacks on courts in three cities in 2007. In a significant decision that has opened the Pandoraâ€™s box, the Akhilesh Yadav government has withdrawn charges against Tariq Qasmi, the alleged HuJI militant behind terror attacks in Uttar Pradesh in 2007. As many as 15 people were killed and about 60 others injured in serial blasts at three courts â€” at Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad â€” in November 2007. Earlier in May that year, six people were injured in a blast in Gorakhpur. On December 22, 2007 Mohammad Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid were arrested from Azamgarh for the blasts. Explosives were also recovered from the duo. The Uttar Pradesh ATS then described Qasmi, a Unani doctor, as the area commander of HuJI in Uttar Pradesh and Khalid Mujahid as the head of the action group of HuJI. Announcing the withdrawal of case against Qasmi on Wednesday, state home secretary Sarvesh Mishra said the governmentâ€™s recommendation has been sent to the court through the law department. However, he added, the final decision of dropping the case would have to be taken by the court. The trial court has yet to frame charges against Qasmi in the cases. This is the first instance in which the Samajwadi Party (SP) government has withdrawn a case against an alleged terrorist. Official sources say that terror charges against Khalid Mujahid would also be withdrawn soon. However, senior police officials fear this might start off a series of such releases driven by votebank politics which could have dangerous consequences. â€œFor its own political games, the government is neutralizing all the efforts we put in to arrest these terrorists,â€ a police official with the Uttar Pradesh anti terror squad (ATS) lamented. The SP had promised in its election manifesto that innocents jailed on terror charges would be freed once the party came to power. The Akhilesh Yadav regime has been under great pressure from clerics and Muslim organisations to honour its promise. Opposition parties have criticized the SP regime for its decision. â€œThe SP is clearly out to appease the minorities with an eye on the Muslim votebank. But this is a very dangerous trend it is setting,â€ BJP spokesman Vijay Pathak said. More importantly, the withdrawal of the cases promises to open up a Pandoraâ€™s box. Besides being a major embarrassment for the ATS and the police, questions are sure to be asked about how the ATS had prepared the charge-sheet, what now happens to the evidence and relevant material placed before the court, and, most importantly, who are the real culprits responsible for the blasts. Hurdles for government Lawyersâ€™ organisations have threatened to take to the streets on this issue. â€œThe court serial blasts case is a serious matter. Several lawyers lost their lives. We will not allow the (state) government to withdraw the terror charges,â€ says Ajay Pandey, vice-president of the Central Bar Association. Senior advocate Padm Kirti says it might not be easy for the government to withdraw the charges. â€œThough under the Criminal Penal Code the government has the right to withdraw any case, in this case it would be rather difficult as the STF and the ATS have submitted strong evidence, the charge-sheet has been filed and the case is in its final stages,â€ he says. According to law, the court hearing the case has the final word on whether the charges can be withdrawn. A PIL has been filed in the Allahabad high court against the withdrawal of the case. The petitioner has submitted that the two HuJI terrorists were arrested along with a large supply of explosives. Experts say it would be virtually impossible to deny all the evidence that the STF and ATS have submitted before the court. If the government chooses to rubbish the entire evidence, it would have to prove how the STF and ATS officials stand to benefit by framing the entire case. UP frees serial blasts 'mastermind' - India - DNA -------- Wages of sickularism.