Mr Habeeb, a 36-year-old resident of Jogendra Nagar in Agartala, Tripura, was cleared of terror charges in the shooting at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). The Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court released him last week after four years in jail at the Bengaluru Central Jail.
On December 28, 2005, a shooting occurred on the campus of IISc Bengaluru. Prof. Munish Chandra Puri, an Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi professor, was killed, and four others were injured, when two shooters opened fire. Because of the severity of the attack, the Karnataka government declared it a “terror attack,” making it the first of its kind in the IT capital of India.
The NIA arrested Habeeb in 2017 based on a statement given by the co-accused, Sabahuddin, who was arrested for the first time by the Lucknow police.
He was charged under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act, 1959, Sections 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the Explosives Substances Act, 1908, and Sections 10, 13, 16, 17, 18, and 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, (UAPA).
Habeeb’s lawyer, Mohammed Tahir, contended that the police had not revealed anything about the accused in the chargesheet and had not gathered any evidence to demonstrate that Habeeb was aware of the occurrence or crime involved in the case.
According to Tahir, Sabahuddin identified a number of additional people in his statement, including individuals who assisted him in crossing the border and providing assistance. The police, however, have not charged them or called them to be witnesses, according to Tahir.
“Despite filing a lengthy charge sheet, the police have not supplied a single piece of evidence against this accused to establish the charges against him,” the lawyer stated. “The accused is incarcerated despite not having committed any crime and having no knowledge of the act or his involvement.”
The court stated that it did not understand why he was prosecuted as an accused in the case and issued an order on June 21, 2021, dismissing all allegations brought against him under the UAPA Act.
“Keeping in mind the requirements of Section 227 of CrPC, as well as the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court… and also, on careful perusal of the entire materials on record, I am of the considered opinion that there is no sufficient ground to proceed against accused No.7 for the offences alleged against him and, therefore, the accused is discharged,” the court said in its order. “My father died hearing the claims against me,”