A court in Jammu has granted bail to a pharmacist who was accused of having links with Hizbul Mujahideen and arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in January, saying he was falsely implicated, The Kashmir Monitor reported on Friday.

Special Judge Sunit Gupta pulled up the investigating officer for lack of evidence against Zahoor Ahmed. “The court could not find a single witness whose statements were recorded under Sections 161 or 164 CrPC [Code of Criminal Procedure] who have uttered even a single word against the accused,” the judge said.

Ahmed, a junior pharmacist, is a resident of Marwah area in Kishtwar district, and was arrested on January 6. According to the chargesheet, Ahmed along with nine others were accused of “providing information with regard to the security forces to the militants for facilitating them to carry out attack with intention to hurt the integrity of the country and also arranging funds to active militant Mohammad Amin alias Jahangir Saroori”.

In a separate case that was filed by Kishtwar police station against him in 2019, Ahmed was accused of providing medicine to Saroori, who has been evading arrest since 1990. “Since the accused Zahoor Ahmed happens to be a pharmacist and he was supposed to be in possession of some medicines and as such while performing his professional duty if he was intending to deliver some medicine even to the terrorist, he cannot be said to have been involved in any of the offence under UAPA,” the judge said.

The court said the investigating officer had attached a statement of a witness, identified as Akhter Hussain, which was recorded under section 164 CrPc of some other case. “With the strength of the said copy of the statement, the investigating officer had made a successful attempt to falsely implicate the accused Zahoor Ahmed and even as per the statement; the accused is not genuinely found to be involved in any such activity which may be said to be an offence under UAPA,” the order said.

The judge directed Ahmed to not leave Jammu and Kashmir without prior permission from the court and granted him interim bail.