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Karnataka HC Rejects PFI Leaders Plea Against NIA Order

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The  Karnataka High Court has upheld a NIA Special Court judgment  and dismissed a writ petition filed by one Asim Shariff, pleading that he be discharged from the murder case of RSS worker Rudresh. The judgement was pronounced by Justice N K Sudhindrarao  who had reserved it on August 1, 2018.

Rudresh,  top functionary of the Bengaluru unit  of the RSS was returning from a meeting of the organisation in October 2016 when two men on a motorcycle carrying machetes attacked him near Commercial Street, a busy shopping complex in Bengaluru. They first knocked him off his bike and then proceeded to assault him with the machetes. The police had arrested four men within weeks, most of them in their mid-thirties. Azim Sharief, 40, the main accused, was arrested by the police in November 2016.He had moved the High Court against the NIA Special Court order which rejected his application seeking to discharge him from the case on January 2, 2018. The NIA Special Court had said that there was sufficient material to proceed with the case.

The NIA counsel contended before the Special Court that the accused had conspired to kill at least two RSS members with an intention to prevent people from joining the sangh. Shariff has been accused of instructing the other accused to kill RSS members. There are four accused in the Rudresh murder case.  Shariff’s counsel claimed that NIA does not have sufficient evidence against him.

The NIA had filed the charge-sheet in May last year, just a month after the high court initially took the case away from the central probe agency before restoring the case to the NIA weeks later.

“The killing was a clear act of terror with the intention to strike terror among a section of the people. This was achieved by the broad daylight murder of RSS member in uniform using a lethal on 16 October,” the NIA said.

The NIA had charged them under the centre’s anti-terror law, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA for offences punishable with a maximum penalty of a death sentence.

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