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Alleged Al Qaeda terrorist joins RJD

Source: PTI
July 26, 2004 20:56 IST
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Mohammed Afroze, who shot into limelight after being arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act on suspicion of being an al-Qaeda operative, has joined the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Maharashtra unit RJD president S K Singh on Monday announced that Afroze had joined the party recently.

Afroze told reporters here that he has joined politics as he wished to take up the cause of minority youth, who have been traumatised. "There has been a lot of injustice to me and my friends and I do not want it on others," he said.

On his decision to join RJD, Afroze said he had decided to join the party as it was secular and its leader Lalu Prasad Yadav was the only one to raise Godhra issue (reinquiry into the incident) recently.

Denying that he had joined Samajwadi Party earlier, he said another reason to join RJD was because Lalu was a 'dashing' leader.

A pilot trained in US and Australia, Afroze was arrested by Mumbai police from his Cheetah camp residence in Trombay in 2001, suspecting him to be an al-Qaeda operative and accused of being part of a group that had allegedly conspired to fly a plane into the British Parliament, similar to the WTC attack.

Although the Mumbai police dropped the POTA case against him, Afroze still faces criminal charges under IPC for alleged links with terrorists.

What gave more credence to the Mumbai police's allegations against Afroze, was his own statement before a magistrate, where he admitted of having been part of the plot.

He, later retracted from his admission.

Although a team of Mumbai Police led by the then Commissioner M N Singh went abroad to collect evidence against Afroze, Mumbai Police failed to frame charges under POTA against Afroze.

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