Nashik terror plot accused gets bail; to remain in jail for German Bakery blast | India News

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MUMBAI: Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to Mirza Himayat Baig in a 2010 case of a terror plot in Nashik which was foiled by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (Mumbai). Although the court has directed his release, Baig will remain in Nashik Central Prison where he is serving life imprisonment in the German Bakery blast case.
Justices Revati-Mohite and Gauri Godse gave the verdict on Baig’s appeal filed in March 2023 against rejection of bail by ATS special court, Nashik.ATS had alleged that Baig was the main conspirator in the criminal conspiracy to carry out a blast in the Nashik police headquarters. However, through a tip-off from intelligence agencies, ATS foiled the plan. The FIR was filed on September 7, 2010 and Baig was arrested in October and booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2008. ATS filed chargesheet against the accused persons. ATS’s affidavit in HC said out of 150 witnesses, 23 are examined till date.
Baig’s advocates Mubin Solkar and Ibraheem Harbat argued that ATS has failed to produce material witnesses and evidence against him. ATS’s main allegation against Baig was that he recruited youth for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a banned Pakistani organisation in 2006. Solkar said in 2006 LeT was not a banned organisation and hence the provisions of UAPA will not apply retrospectively and he cannot be said to be a member of a banned organisation at the relevant time. He also submitted that ATS failed to produce any witness in the last 13 years to connect Baig bail with the conspiracy to carry out the alleged terror plot. Solkar contended that Baig has been in custody for 13 years while the offences of recruiting and criminal conspiracy are punishable with minimum 5 years upto life imprisonment.
Opposing grant of bail, prosecutor Prajakta Shinde said the allegation is of serious nature and trial is in progress. She said there was a delay in this trial because Baig was an accused in the German Bakery blast case and thereafter there was Covid19 pandemic. The HC judges directed Baig’s release on furnishing Rs 1 lakh personal bond with one or two sureties of the same amount. They also directed that Baig shall not leave the jurisdiction of the trial court. The copy of the verdict was not available.
Some 17 persons were killed and 58 others persons were injured in the blast at Koregaon in Pune on February 13, 2010. In 2016 High Court acquitted Baig of all terror and conspiracy charges but upheld his conviction for possession of explosive substances. His appeal against conviction is pending in the Supreme Court.

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