Four years after his arrest, Haj House Imam Ghulam Yahya Baksh, accused of harbouring three militants and having links with terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba, was on Saturday acquitted by a sessions court due to lack of evidence.
The Anti-Terrorism Squad had on January 14, 2006 arrested Baksh, 47, who was working as an Imam at the Haj House in south Mumbai since 1996. He was accused of providing shelter to three alleged militants from Jammu and Kashmir. Baksh, hailing from West Bengal, was charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for conspiring and harbouring terrorists.
The court today acquitted Baksh after observing that the prosecution has failed to prove its case. The court, however, convicted the three militants -- Khursheed Ahmed, Mohammad Ramzan Abdul Kazi and Arshad Ghulam -- under various sections of the UAPA and sentenced them to seven years imprisonment.
The trio was arrested on January 6, 2006 from Mumbai Central railway station.
The ATS seized detonators, timers, electronic devices, a pistol and six live cartridges from the trio. According to the ATS, the three persons were in constant touch with Maulana Baksh and had come to Mumbai on instructions from LeT commander Salauddin.
The ATS claimed that Baksh was a link between Salauddin and the three militants who had plans to carry out terror attacks in the city.