Court frees man accused of UP serial blasts

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Lucknow, Jan 16 (UNI) A city court today acquitted a man accused in the UP serial blasts after the Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh Police admitted that they had arrested a ''wrong'' man.

Much to the respite of Aftab Alam, the STF on Monday had admitted that he was not the man it was hunting for the involvement in the serial bomb blasts, which rocked the Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi in 2006 and crowded markets in Gorakhpur last year.

The STF wrote to the chief judicial magistrate requesting him to release Alam.

Additional chief judicial magistrate R P Tripathi ordered the release of Alam on a personal bond of Rs 10,000. ''The orders have reached the Lucknow district jail and he would be released soon,'' said a senior STF official.

''We had requested the court to release Aftab Alam alias Mukhtar alias Raju picked up from Kolkata last month...he is not the man we wanted in connection with the blasts,'' said additional director general of police (law and Order/Crime and STF) Brij Lal.

Alam, a resident of Gola Bazaar in Gorakhpur, was picked up in December last year for his alleged involvement in the blasts from the West Bengal capital.

He was employed in the power department of the West Bengal government as an electrician. He was presently on police remand and was being interrogated. The STF realised its folly during interrogation.

''When we got his photo from the West Bengal police via an e-mail, the two HuJI terrorists arrested earlier claimed he was the man...it was perhaps their ploy to help the real culprit escape the police dragnet.

''It was not a folly, during investigations such things happen and their is no harm accepting that,'' Mr Lal said.

Last month, the STF had arrested two suspected terrorists of Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI) believed to be behind the November 23 serial blasts on the court premises of Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad.

Police said Mohammed Tariq (30) and Khalid Mujahid (24) were picked up from near Barabanki railway station.

Police had said the two serial blasts accused were also involved in the May 22 Gorakhpur blast and the 2006 Sankatmochan temple blast in Varanasi.

Alam was arrested following interrogation of the duo.

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