The prosecution on Friday told a Delhi [Images] court that a Pakistan-based Harkat-ul-jehadi Islami terrorist, who along with five others are accused of plotting to kidnap Sachin Tendulkar [Images] and Sourav Ganguly [Images], had confessed that he came to abduct the cricketers and then bargain the release of two members of the outfit.
"Arshad Khan, a native of Multan in Pakistan, had come along with others to India to kidnap the cricketers and
bargain the release of two terrorists of HUJI who were then lodged in Tihar and a Rajasthan Jail," senior public
prosecutor Anita Hooda told the court.
The prosecutor was referring to Khan's confessional statement, recorded on July 11, 2002 by a Deputy Commissioner
of Police under tough anti-terror law Prevention of Terrorism [Images] Act.
The outfit wanted to ensure the release of its members, Nasarullah Langrial and Abdul Rahim, then lodged in Indian
jails, she said.
Advancing the final arguments in the case relating to the plot to kidbap the two cricketers, Hooda said Arshad, who had
taken a 40-day training alongside Taliban [Images] terrorists in Afganistan, had sneaked into India through Bangladesh.
The confessions, recorded under the POTA, are admissible as evidence, Hooda said, adding Arshad along with a co-accused was nabbed at Hazarat Nizamuddin railways station in Delhi on October 29, 2001 when he had come to deliver arms and ammunition to his accomplices.
The advancing of arguments in the seven-year-old case remained inconclusive and would continue on March 13.
The plot to abduct the cricketers did not fructify in 2002 as the terrorists assigned the task could not get logistical support, the prosecutor had said.
Besides the six terrorists, key accused Jalaluddin, who was declared a proclaimed offender during the trial, had also
planned to attack the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai [Images], she said.
All the six accused, who were arrested in 2001 and February and March in 2002, have been booked under various
provisions of POTA, the IPC and the Explosives Act, which provide for maximum sentence of death penalty.
They are charged with hatching conspiracy to wage war against the state and keeping explosives. Besides three Pakistan-based accused, Tariq Mohammed, Ashfaq Ahmed and Arshad Khan, the others are -- Mufti Israr,
Ghulam [Images] Qadir Bhatt and Ghulam Mohd Dar.