Goa terror suspect gets bail, says India not free anymore

Panaji, Feb 11 (IANS) A Goa court on Thursday granted conditional bail to 44-year-old chartered accountant Sameer Sardana, the son of a retired major general, arrested for suspected terror links.

On his release, Sardana, who was arrested by the Goa Police Anti-Terror Squad, said freedom was on the decline in India.

Sardana, whose family hails from Uttarakhand, has been asked to surrender his passport and report to the ATS every day for four consecutive days for questioning.

“All I want to say is, I have full faith in the courts. Justice has been served partially today. I am confident I will be fully cleared by the courts. I hope the Indian media keeps track of this so that India remains a free nation. Somewhere down the line the freedom has been lost,” Sardana told reporters in South Goa’s Vasco town.

He was arrested by the ATS on February 2 from the Vasco railway station, 35 km from Panaji, after railway police reported him for suspicious movement.

Police claimed to have seized five passports, including four which had expired, and several SIM cards. A scan of his laptop by cyber experts also revealed data about previous bomb blasts in Goa.

Police said Sardana had recently converted to Islam and suggested that he could allegedly have undergone radicalisation via internet.

Sardana’s counsel S. Joshi claimed that downloading information from the internet was not a crime.

“There is nothing wrong with downloading information. My clients arrest and detetntion are illegal. He has been arrested and then they (police) tried to make out a case justifying the arrest,” Joshi said.

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