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American Center attack: All 7 accused get death sentence
April 27, 2005 17:18 IST
Last Updated: April 27, 2005 21:16 IST
Dubai-based terrorist Aftab Ansari and six others, convicted in the January 22, 2002 American Center attack case, were on Wednesday sentenced to death by hanging for waging war against the state and killing five policemen with prohibited arms.
In a 280-page judgment, Chief Judicial Magistrate Basudeb Majumdar sentenced all the seven -- Jamiluddin Nasser, Rehan Alam, Adil
Hasan, Musharat Hussain, Hasrat Alam and Shakir Aktar, besides Ansari -- to be hanged till death under Section 121 (waging war against the state) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 (iii) (using of
prohibited arms) of the Arms Act.
The death sentences are subject to confirmation by the Calcutta high court.
Five personnel of the Kolkata Armed Police were killed and 20 injured in the attack by two gunmen on the American Center.
All the seven were also sentenced to life imprisonment under Section 302 (murder), seven-year imprisonment and fine of Rs 5,000 under Section 121A (conspiracy to commit certain offences), seven-year imprisonment and fine of Rs 5,000 under Section 122 (collecting arms with intention of waging war against the state) and five-year imprisonment under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC.
Under Sections 333 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt to public servant), 467 (forgery) and 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), they were sentenced to five years imprisonment.
All the sentences will run concurrently.
The seven were convicted on Tuesday.
It was the first such death sentence to so many convicts in one case in West Bengal since Independence.
Aftab Ansari found guilty
"Joh acchha saza hai, woh de dijiye," an unmoved Ansari said when called to the dock by the magistrate and asked what he had to say before the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment. He declared he was innocent.
The other six, when called one by one to the dock and told that they had been found guilty and the maximum punishment could be death, appeared calm and composed and claimed they had not committed any crime.
Lawyers for the convicts, Syed Imam and A B Dhali, told newspersons they would appeal against the sentence in the Calcutta high court within the statutory period of 60 days.
Public Prosecutor Ashok Bakshi said the judgment was well-reasoned and exemplary.
The court had on Tuesday acquitted two accused Dilip Patel and Shakil Mallick, due to insufficient evidence against them.
The trial was conducted by a special court inside the jail for security reasons after the Calcutta high court granted permission for it.
The West Bengal government wanted the trial to be conducted in the prison saying it was risky to ferry Ansari from jail to court and back every time.