New Delhi: A Delhi court today let off an
alleged militant of banned Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) of
charges of setting off a blast near the headquarters of Indian
Youth Congress targeting its then president M S Bitta in which
nine persons were killed in 1993.
Harneik Singh was acquitted of the charges of
triggering the blast, which left Bitta and 28 others injured,
by Additional Sessions Judge J R Aryan of special TADA court.
The judge accepted the plea of Harneik that the
confessional statement of co-accused Devender Pal Singh, who
had been awarded death sentence in 2001 during a separate
trial in the case, cannot be the sole ground to convict him.
The court said the confession, recorded under the
Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, was
admissible as evidence only against those co-accused who were
tried together with the person who has made the statement.
The accusations, levelled in the confession against
Harneik who remained elusive for 10 years, was not supported
either by other independent witness or evidence, it said.
Harneik was charged under various provisions of the
Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act and the IPC dealing
with the offences relating to murder, attempt to murder,
waging war against the government and using deadly explosives.
Initially, five alleged members of KLF -- Kuldeep
Singh, Baldev Singh, Harneik Singh, Davender Pal Singh and
Daya Singh Lahoria -- were named as accused.
Earlier in 2001, co-accused Davender was convicted and
sent to gallows by the lower court for his involvement in the
terror strike. However, another accused Daya Singh Lahoria was
acquitted for want of evidence.
However, a separate trial against Harneik and Baldev
could start only in 2004 when they were arrested by police.
The court, which proceeded with the trial against
Harneik, however, discharged Baldev from the case in 2006.
Fifth accused Kuldeep Singh is still elusive and has
been declared a proclaimed offender.
Nine persons were killed and 29 others including
Bitta were injured on September 11, 1993 when an explosives
laden car went off outside the IYC office at 5, Raisina Road.
The FIR, lodged with the Parliament Street police
here, said the terrorists had used the timer device to explode
deadly RDX kept in the Ambassador car.