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Akshardham attack: 3 get death sentence
July 01, 2006 13:08 IST
Last Updated: July 01, 2006 17:48 IST
The Prevention of Terrorism Act court on Saturday awarded death sentence to three persons in the 2002 Akshardham temple terror attack case.
Twenty-nine devotees, two National Security Guards commandos and two state commandos were killed and 81 injured in the attack that occurred on September 24, 2002.
The three who were sentenced to death are Chand Khan, one of the prime accused from Jammu and Kashmir, Adam Suleman Ajmeri and Abdul Kayum Mohammed Hussain Mansuri.
Another person Mohamed Salim Mohammed Anif Sheikh was awarded life imprisonment while two others Mufti Abdul Miya Yasim Miya Kadhri and Altaf Husain Asghar Hussain Malik were awarded 10 and five years of rigorous imprisonment respectively.
The designated POTA court Judge Sonia Gokani, while pronouncing the judgement, held all the three persons directly responsible for the killing of people in the temple.
The Akshardham temple, run by the Akshar Purshottam Swaminarayan Sansthan, was stormed by two Pakistan-based terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Tayiba, dressed in army uniforms.
The two opened indiscriminate fire on the devotees in the temple premises. The militants also lobbed grenades.
The NSG commandoes, after a night-long gun battle, killed the militants identified as Murtuza Hafiz Yasin and Ashrafali Mohammed Farooq claiming allegiance to Tehreeq-e-Qasas, a wing of LeT.
The court delivered the judgement in the high security Sabarmati jail and the proceedings were held in-camera.
There are 34 accused in the case, out of which police had arrested six, 26 are absconding and two were shot dead in the temple.
The police had submitted to the court that four absconders had fled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and nothing can be done to bring them back as they do not have photographs or passport details of the absconders.
The accused have given confessional statements under Section 32 of POTA, which has been admitted as evidence.
The court had framed charges against the accused under various sections of POTA, IPC, Arms Act and Explosive