03 October 2011

Indian court clears Kashmir aeronautical engineer 5 years after his arrest for plotting 9/11 type strike

NEW DELHI, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- A Kashmiri aeronautical engineer who was arrested five years ago for allegedly plotting a Sept. 11 style suicide attack in the Indian capital was recently claimed innocent by a court in the Indian capital, after spending five years in police custody, reported local daily Indian Express on Monday.

Imran Kirmani, 29, was arrested in November 2006 by the Delhi Police's Special Cell as a member of "a Lashkar-e-Toiba (Let) module" that was "planning a Sept. 11-type strike in Delhi."

Kirmani had a degree in aeronautical engineering from Jaipur, Rajasthan. He had done a six-month course at Amritsar Flying Club and was working with Star Aviation Academy in New Delhi before he was arrested from his home in a mid-night police raid.

Four years, five months and 21 days later, Additional Sessions Judge Surinder S. Rathi of a Delhi court acquitted Kirmani, ripping apart the police case.

"My dream has already died, there is no future," he told the newspaper. "How will I begin again? Who will accept me in the aviation industry? Who will return me five years of my life?"

Delhi Police Special Cell claimed a tip-off from a central intelligence agency that a Let militant had set up base in Delhi and was funding terror through hawala, the global Muslim money remittance system.

Police claimed to have recovered "around 1.5 kilogram of RDX, two automatic timers and 450,000 rupees hawala money" from Kirmani.

"When the Special Cell told the media I was part of an LeT module and we were planning a 9/11-type attack in Delhi, I was shocked," Kirmani said. "But then I understood their game plan. Every Kashmiri living in Delhi is under watch and the Special Cell officers had found my credentials fit to cook up a sensational story."