Bangalore: Peer Mohideen, who was named the “prime accused” by the City police in the First Information Report (FIR) in the Malleswaram bomb blasts, walked out of the Central Prison, Parappana Agrahara, a free man on Tuesday night, days after his name was omitted from the charge sheet.
A native of Tamil Nadu, Mohideen (39) had to spend six months in jail before investigators decided they had no substantial evidence against him. Saddam Hussein (accused No 14) and Tenkasi Haneef (17) were also omitted from the charge sheet filed on October 19.
The 1st ACMM court ordered their release on Monday. Only Mohideen, however, could walk out of jail as Hussein and Haneef are set for trial in other cases in Tamil Nadu. The City police took them into custody on a body warrant.
For Fatima, Mohideen’s wife, it was a happy and emotional reunion. Rasool Mohideen, a close relative, said the family would soon decide on their next course of action. He alleged that police “targeted Mohideen only because he is a Muslim”.
“The government is responsible for incarcerating an innocent man for six months. Nothing can compensate for the emotional, physical and mental torture that Peer and his family went through,” Rasool Mohideen stressed, adding that the government should compensate him in some way as a moral gesture.
S Balan, the defence counsel, said the case was “a classic case of the callousness of investigation agencies towards minorities”. The investigation was “preconceived,” he contended, adding that the case against 14 men who have been charge-sheeted was also “not strong”. He claimed they would also be eventually acquitted.
Mohideen, who sold biscuits, coffee powder and other confectionaries on a push cart in the City, was arrested along with his roommate Basheer from a lodge in Chennai, six days after the Malleswaram blasts on April 17, 2013.
In an affidavit before the High Court, the investigating officer, H M Omkaraiah, had stated that police were led to Mohideen after they analysed the call records of other suspects.
Basheer had received a call from a Karnataka mobile No (9980187434) just after the blast on April 17 and again the next day. The location showed the user of the number rushed to Chennai on April 18.
Police then tracked down the number to a lodge in Chennai and arrested Basheer and Mohideen, the user of the number. The affidavit stated that investigation revealed that Mohideen had another SIM card (9901044271), whose location was found to be the blast site at 9:40 am, just half hour before the blast.
Further investigation revealed the particular number was used by a man named Aliyappan that day. The police also picked him for questioning but let him off after some days. But Mohideen’s turn came six months later.