Delhi court ac­quits ‘Maoist leader’ Kobad Ghandy of ter­ror charges

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - Soibam Rocky Singh let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Sus­pected Maoist ide­o­logue Kobad Ghandy was ac­quit­ted of ter­ror charges by a Delhi court on Fri­day, seven years af­ter the 68-year-old Mum­bai na­tive was jailed for al­leged links with a banned out­fit.

He was, how­ever, con­victed of pos­sess­ing fake voter iden­tity and PAN cards — the max­i­mum pun­ish­ment for which is seven years that Ghandy has al­ready served. Ghandy will, how­ever, re­main in Ti­har jail as he is an ac­cused in about a dozen other ter­ror-re­lated cases.

Ghandy was ar­rested from New Delhi’s Bhikaji Cama Place on Septem­ber 20, 2009 by Hy­der­abad Po­lice on charges of hav­ing links with the banned Com­mu­nist Party of In­dia (Maoist). He was sus­pected of re­sid­ing in the cap­i­tal un­der var­i­ous aliases and “may be con­duct­ing recce of tar­gets in Delhi”.

“Kobad Ghandy was re­sid­ing in Delhi (un­der) as­sumed names with fake iden­ti­ties. How­ever, the gap be­tween us­ing fake iden­ti­ties and mem­ber­ship of said banned or­gan­i­sa­tions can­not be filled on the ba­sis of sus­pi­cion,” ad­di­tional ses­sions judge Reetesh Singh said.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to see a per­son like you still smil­ing af­ter spend­ing seven years in jail,” Singh said to a vis­i­bly frail Ghandy.

CON­TIN­UED ON P9

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