The National Investigation Agency special court on Tuesday framed charges against 11 accused, all suspected to be members of banned Indian Mujahideen and Students Islamic Movement of India, for the serial blasts at Prime Minister (then Gujarat chief minister) Narendra Modi's 'Hunkar Rally' at Gandhi Maidan in Patna on October 27, 2013.
Six persons were killed and over 100 injured in the blasts. The framing of charges marks the beginning of prosecution of the accused in the case.
NIA Special Judge Anil Kumar Singh also directed the prosecution to produce witnesses from January 19 onwards.
The 11 accused in the case are -- Haider Ali, Numan Ansari, Taufiq Ansari, Mujibullah Ansari, Umar Siddiqui, Azharuddin Qureshi, Iftekar Alam, Firoz Alam, Ahmad Hussain, Fakhruddin and a juvenile.
Charges including for murder, criminal conspiracy have been framed against them under Sections 109, 120B, 121, 171A, 302, 324, 326, 360, 441 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosives Substances Act, and various section of Criminal Law Act.
All of them are alleged to be members of IM and SIMI.
The NIA has already filed charge sheet in the case, alleging that Hyder Ali, who was suspected to be SIMI in-charge of Jharkhand, conspired with others to target Modi, the Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate at that time. Ali is also an accused in Bodh Gaya serial blasts in July 2013.
According to the charge sheet, the accused wanted to target Modi as they thought it would be inimical to their interests if he became the Prime Minister, and in pursuance of their motive conducted recce of various rallies to take stock of security arrangements.
The charge sheet says after realising that it was not possible to reach Modi during his public rallies due to tight security, the accused decided to trigger bombs at one rally, hoping it would result in a stampede and enable them to get near the BJP leader in the ensuing melee.
They had collected explosives from Mirzapur and other material from Patna to fabricate Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for the purpose. After learning how to make bombs from 'Inspire' magazine of banned terror group Al Qaeda, they fabricated IEDs in elbow-style pipes.
Accordingly, they planted 17 bombs at the rally venue, of which seven had exploded, killing and injuring several persons. The rest of the bombs were recovered and defused by the police, paramilitary and National Security Guards.
The case was cracked after the police arrested Taufiq from Patna Junction, trying to escape after his associate Tariq alias Ainul was critically injured while trying to plant bombs at the railway station and trains. Tariq later succumbed to his injuries.
The rest of the accused were arrested by NIA from different parts of the country and produced at the NIA Court in Patna on Tuesday.