The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Andhra to set up terror courts

Hyderabad, Feb. 26: The Andhra Pradesh government proposes to set up special courts to try all cases concerning terrorist offences in the state.

During a debate in the Assembly, home minister T. Devender Gowd said a magisterial inquiry had revealed the involvement of the Darsgah-e-Jehad Shahadat and others in the blast near the Sai Baba temple in the state capital.

Inquiries were in progress on the activities of the Shahadat and the Students’ Islamic Movement of India, he added.

“It is now revealed that the culprits, Aziz and Azam, who were trained in Pakistan by the ISI, also had plans to blow the Ambedkar statue in the city,” Gowd said.

The debate, which took place during a discussion on Rule 304 in the House, however, was marred by arguments between the Congress and the BJP. While the BJP demanded a ban on the Shahadat, the Congress wanted a CBI probe into both the blast and the serial killings.

Gowd said police had linked the Sai Baba temple blast to the activities of the banned Lashkar-e-Toiba and made several preventive arrests in Chennai and Mumbai on information provided by the six persons arrested in connection with the blast.

Both Aziz and Mohammad Azam were killed in encounters with the police, the home minister said.

“The police have no evidence that both Aziz and Azam were terrorists. Their family members say that they had no such links,” said MIM legislator Assaduddin Owaisi.

, adding that one could get their passport stamped by the police in Hyderabad even if they were sitting in the US.

The home minister said the state administration had decided to put down the activities of terrorists in Andhra Pradesh with a heavy hand. “We will not tolerate any violence by any religious or terrorist group,” he added.

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