Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked the state government to "drop all charges" against Razzak Nazir Qasim, who was arrested by the Anti-Terrorist Squad for allegedly sending a "threatening" e-mail to him from Mumbai in October this year.
Announcing his decision to a select press gathering at his official residence, where Razzak and his parents were also present, Modi said, "Closely studying Razzak's case and knowing his background, I concluded that he is not a jehadi but took the step purely due to emotional outburst."
Modi said, "I have written to the state government to drop all charges against the 30-year-old computer professional."
The chief minister said the investigating agency had "adequate" proof to put Razzak behind bars for five years and impose Rs 100,000 fine for this cyber crime, the first of its kind in the state.
"However, this would have ruined his life and considering that the threat was to my life, I decided to pardon him and give him a new lease of life," Modi said.
The chief minister was quick to clarify that the decision to pardon Razzak was taken by him prior to December 12 state assembly elections but was announced today as it would have had "political overtones" in that period.
"There is a large section who would dub this gesture as a political stunt and allege that it was an act to garner votes," Modi said. He said, "Pardoning Razzak was my own conviction after knowing more about him."
Razzak, a project leader in a private IT firm in Andheri in Mumbai, was remanded to judicial custody for 15 days after he was arrested by the ATS in October.
Modi has also reportedly asked the private firm to reinstate Razzak in the job.
Razzak said, "I was extremely disturbed by all that I read, heard and saw about post-Godhra communal riots in Gujarat and how people of my community were butchered."
However, he stressed that the email was totally a burst of emotions and he had no intentions of harming Modi.
"I had expressed my emotions on the opinion page of the chief minister's website, which I accidentally came across while surfing for some other information. I took just six minutes and forgot about it," he said.
Asked what lesson he had learnt from the incident, an emotional Razzak said, "The biggest lesson I have learnt is not to comment on anything without knowing the facts. One should not go by hearsay."
Razzak also urged people of his own community to follow the religion "in its true meaning" and imbibe the principle of "tolerance", which is preached by the Holy Quran.
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