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Srinagar, May 2 (UNI) Setting aside the acquittal order of a lower court, Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ordered re-trail of eight Afghan nationals detained in different jails for the past 11 years for their involvement in militancy in the state.

Allowing the acquittal appeal of Additional Advocate General of the state M A Rathore, the High Court directed the authorities to produce all the eight Afghans before the Principal Sessions court on June 25.

The court allowed acquittal appeal of the state setting aside order of principal sessions judge, Kupwara, who had acquitted eight Afghan militants on the ground that the prosecution could not provide sufficient evidence against them.

However, in his appeal Mr Rathore alleged that the court had closed the case without giving proper opportunity to prosecution to produce evidence.

The trial of the case was concluded in just 72 days, he told the High court which later accepted his contentions and ordered retrial of the case.

Advocate Nazir Ahmad Ronga, president of the Kashmir Bar Association (KBA) who represented the accused said that he has no objection if the acquittal appeal is allowed.

However, he demanded that the accused should be produced before the Court on every hearing of the case.

Mr Ronga submitted before the court that earlier they were not produced for eight years when the case was in the court principal sessions judge, Kupwara.

The accused Afghans were arrested on October 31, 1997 near Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir. Later, a challan was produced against them before a local court in 1998 under section 14 Foreigners Act and 7/25 Indian Arms Act in fir 187/97.

They were booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) and lodged in the jails outside the State.

UNI BAS FMH SK PM1358

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