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Death penalty for Red Fort attack case accused
October 31, 2005 15:35 IST
Last Updated: October 31, 2005 23:58 IST
A Delhi Court on Monday awarded death sentence to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorist Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq, convicted in the December 2000 Red Fort attack case.
Additional Sessions Judge O P Saini awarded life imprisonment to two key conspirators Nazir Ahmed Qasid and his son Farooq Ahmed Qasid, who were held guilty of waging war against the state along with Ashfaq.
Ashfaq's Indian wife Rehmana Yousuf Farooqui, who was held guilty of harbouring the main accused, has been given a seven-year jail term.
Accused Bagar Mohsin Baghwala, Sadaqat Ali and Matloob Alam, who were pronounced guilty by the Special Judge on October 24 along with the other four accused, have also been sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment.
Baghwala and Sadaqat were held guilty of providing shelter to main accused Ashfaq while Matloob Alam was convicted of criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery.
The court also slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on Ashfaq, Nazir and Farooq and Rs 20,000 each on rest of the accused.
Ashfaq and five other terrorists had sneaked into the 17th century Mughal monument around 08:00 PM hours on December 22, 2000 and opened indiscriminate fire, killing two jawans of the Rajputana Rifles and a civilian.
While convicting the accused, the court said that it had been established beyond doubt that the conspiracy to attack the Red Fort was hatched at Farooq and Nazir's house in Srinagar where Ashfaq had arrived in 1999 along with three other LeT militants.
The three militants Abu Shaad, Abu Bilal and Abu Haider, who had also entered the monument, were earlier killed in separate encounters.
"These facts speak unmistakably and loudly that these people conspired to wage war against the government of India," the judge said.
"The foreign national and his accomplices had entered into the Indian territory with a view to subvert the functioning of the government and destabilise the society," the Special Judge said.
Sadaqat had provided shelter to Ashfaq at Gafoor Nagar in South Delhi's Okhla where they jointly ran a computer centre for a month before the attack. They were also in touch with the other accused in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan.
It was Baghwala, a resident of Srinagar, who drove Ashfaq around the capital and showed him the key government and military installations.
He also played a crucial role in the planning to attack the Fort.
Matloob Alam, a ration shop owner, was sentenced for helping Ashfaq in gettng a ration card using forged documents, which he used for establishing his Indian citizenship.
Five minutes after the attack, Ashfaq had informed "his masters in Pakistan" and some media organisations through his
Its intercepts had helped the police to close in on him.
Ashfaq and Rehmana were arrested after an encounter in South Delhi's Jamia Nagar area four days later.