Four charged over Bombay bombing

Indian police have charged four people over the twin car-bombings in Bombay a week ago that claimed 52 lives.

    Fifty two people died in the Bombay blast

    Arshad

    Shafique Ansari, Fahimida Sayyed, 37, and

    her daughter Fareen Sayeed, 17, appeared in the Special Court in Bombay on Monday.

    They were remanded in police custody until 15 September.

    The other accused, Sayyed Muhammed Abd al-Rahim, 45, husband of

    Fahimida Sayyed, did not appear in court as he was admitted to a

    hospital, prosecutor Rohini Salian said

    .

    Bus bombing

    The four were detained under

    strict anti-terrorism laws that carry the death sentence

    .

    Prosecutors said the accused were also involved in the 28 July

    bombing of a bus packed with commuters in Bombay

    , which killed four people and

    left 43 injured.

    Police sources said the four had links with the

    Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which was fighting to force the Indians to withdraw from Kashmir. 

    Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari
    Vajpayee has defended the
    controversial anti-terrorism law

    They added they had close ties with the

    Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which

    India banned last year after accusing it of fomenting

    sectarian trouble

    .

    But the BBC reported Bombay residents as saying that they believed the arrested were locals with no ties to political groups.

    Draconian law

    Prosecutors said police seized 205 gelatine sticks, 20 detonators, 12

    alarm clocks with timers, electric wires,

    and firecrackers from the accused.

    The four accused were charged under the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

    The anti-terrorist law was 

    passed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2002 in the face of 

    nationwide political opposition.

    Critics say it allows the government to hold suspects without charge for extended periods, and puts the burden of proof on the accused.

    SOURCE: AFP


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