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American Centre attack: SC stays Ansari's death sentence

Last updated on: May 25, 2010 12:01 IST

The Supreme Court stayed the death sentence awarded to underworld don Aftab Ahmed Ansari for the attack on the American Centre in Kolkata in 2002 on Tuesday.

A vacation bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasad asked the West Bengal government to respond within four months to a petition filed by Ansari challenging his conviction and death sentence in the case.

Two motorcycle-borne men had indiscriminately fired with a AK-47 assault rifle at policemen outside the American Centre on Jawaharlal Nehru Road early in the morning of January 22, 2002 killing six of them and injuring 14 others.

A division bench of the Calcutta high court had in February 2010 upheld the death sentence of Ansari along with co-accused Jamiluddin Nasir but commuted the capital punishment awarded to three others to seven years imprisonment after a hearing lasting 77 days.

Earlier this month, the apex court had stayed the death sentence awarded to Nasir.

A sessions court in April 2005 had sentenced Ansari, Nasir and three others to death while acquitting two others.

They were charged with sections 121 (waging war against the state), 121-A (conspiracy), 302 and 9 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC and 27(3) of the Arms Act.

Just four days after the attack, two persons – Salim and Zahid -- were injured in an encounter with a Delhi police team in Hazaribagh in Jharkhand and they subsequently died.

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