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Sunday, May 23, 2010 03:12:33 PM, Agencies
Chennai: Thirteen years after the serial bomb blasts in trains that killed 10 people and injured over 72, a Special Court for Bomb Blast cases in Poonamallee on Friday acquitted eight accused in the case.
On December 6, 1997, bombs had exploded on the Pandian Express at Tiruchy. On the same day, bombs also blew up the Cheran Express at Erode and Alapuzha Express at Thrissur, killing a total of 10 people and injuring over 72.
The chargesheet named 10 accused. They are Yervadi Kasim, Ali Abdullah, Abdul Rahim, Mohammad Hani, Mohammad Alikhan, Shamshad Ahamed, Riyadur Rahman, Kunnangudi Hanifa, Mohammad Thasthagir and Ashraf Ali.
Of them, Ashraf Ali is absconding while Mohammad Thasthagir died in 2000 during trial.
The others had been lodged at the Puzhal central prison. Over 156 witnesses were questioned. The accused had been charged for offences under various sections of the IPC and the Explosives Substances Act.
Special Judge Premkumar acquitted the eight men saying that charges against them were not proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Six of the eight men were released on Friday while Yervadi Kasim and Ali Abdullah are in prison for their involvement in some other cases.
Defence lawyer in this case Felix Xavier while speaking to the media said that most of the similar cases he defended were like this: Muslims were detained and languished in jail for years but in most cases prosecutions did not prove charges and consequently, the accused were acquitted.
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