AP government ignored warning on IM operative’s release

HYDERABAD: Despite prison officials warning the government to ‘review’ granting remission to Syed Maqbool, whose name has come up in context of the recent Dilsukhnagar blasts, thestate government for reasons not quite clear had set him free on Gandhi Jayanti in 2009.Syed Maqbool, convicted for the murder of a Nizamabad-based businessman, was serving a life term at Cherlapally jail when he was granted remission by the state government. Investigators now say that he helped terror operatives recce sites in Dilsukhnagar for the terror strike.TOI accessed documents relating to the remission granted to Maqbool through Right to Information (RTI) Act, and the note sent by the prisons department to the state government said: “He (Maqbool) was convicted for murdering a cycle store owner. He was a religious fundamentalist (sic). His case may be reviewed thoroughly before considering his release.” Incidentally, the note highlighted the remarks in bold letters.

Yet a five-member high-level committee constituted by the government to review case-by-case the 1,003 convicts eligible for release, overruled the prisons department’s warning and recommended the release of Maqbool and two of his associates Syed Mukthar and Mirza Kasim Baig without any review. The prisons department had made the same remarks about the other two convicts and similarly highlighted the remarks.

Ajay Mishra, then principal secretary (home), chaired the committee, while the other members were then additional director-general (law and order) A K Khan, then additional director-general (CID) A Sivanarayana, then director-general (prisons) Lokendra Sharma and then secretary to government for legal affairs V Suri Appa Rao.

The documents, accessed through RTI Act, confirmed that remissions were based on a few criteria laid down by the state government and did not include seeking conduct certificates of these prisoners. The conditions laid down by the state government divided the 1003 eligible convicts into different categories: life convicts eligible as per guidelines, those whose cases required further review, convicts in whose case legal opinion was required and those who had killed public servants. Maqbool was in the second category.

Source: Times Of India