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In a major blow to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Friday blocked the state government move to withdraw cases against people accused of terrorist strikes.

While suspending the Uttar Pradesh government order, the high court fixed the next hearing after six weeks. A larger bench would then hear the case.

Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) Wednesday, the court had given the state government two days to respond.

The state government did not submit any record Friday, and could not furnish any details to support its move.

Unsatisfied with the government response to queries raised by the petitioner on the need for a tearing hurry to withdraw the cases, without waiting for the courts to first decide on them, the high court stayed the move.

The Samajwadi Party had promised, in its poll manifesto last year, that it would release all those accused of acts of terrorism who were innocent and had been framed.

A Barabanki court had earlier turned down a move to withdraw the case against those accused of involvement in the 2007 serial blasts in Lucknow, Faizabad and Gorakhpur, and rapped the state government for attempting to withdraw cases against Tariq Qasmi and Khalid Mujahid.

Reacting to the decision of the Allahabad High Court, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that the court has vindicated its stand that the Samajwadi Party government in the state was indulging in vote bank politics and minority appeasement.

“This is a slap on the face of the Akhilesh Yadav government, and it is time they realise that national security cannot be compromised for narrow electoral gains,” state BJP chief Laxmikant Bajpai said.


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