New Delhi: Four Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants were on Monday convicted by the Delhi High Court for conspiring to wage a war against the country.
Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Mukta Gupta held that Bashir Ahmed Ponnu, Fayaz Ahmed Lone, Abdul Majeed Baba and Shahid Gafoor "conspired knowingly to facilitate the commission of a terrorist act and have carried out an act preparatory to the commission of a terrorist act".
The court said Bashir, Fayaz and Abdul collected and brought the explosive substance and handed over the same to Shahid and held them guilty of various offences punishable under ant-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
"In the present case, the acts of Bashir, Fayaz, Abdul and Shahid were preparatory to the commission of the offence of waging war and abetting the same by entering into criminal conspiracy and concealing with the intent to facilitate waging of war. They were in possession of three kilograms of PETN (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate), 6 hand grenades, 4 electronic detonators and 1 timer.
"From the fact that arms, ammunitions and explosive substance which were capable of mass destruction were handed to Shahid, who was a Pakistani national and had unauthorisedly entered the Indian territory, it will be prudent and reasonable to draw an inference of criminal conspiracy to wage war against India," the bench said setting aside their acquittal by the trial court.
The judgement came on the state's appeal against the trial court's 2013 decision.
As per the prosecution, the special cell of Delhi police had received a tip-off in January 2007 that JeM intended to carry out 'fidayeen' attack at some prominent places in the national capital and would be sending its operatives through Indo-Bangladesh border.
Based on the tip-off, a trap was laid on February 4, 2007 and after a fierce encounter with police near Connaught Place all the four were arrested and a large quantity of explosives, grenades and cash were recovered from them.
Allowing the prosecution plea, the court said it has
proved beyond reasonable doubt that Bashir, Fayaz, Abdul and Shahid entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the country and collected arms, ammunitions and explosives with intention to wage war and concealed the design thereof.
The court fixed December 12 to hear arguments on quantum of sentence.
It said the convicts will appear before it on December 12, 2014.
It further said in its 49-page judgement that "though in the present case there is no material evidence before this court to show that the respondents are members of a terrorist organisation, however from the acts of the respondents, which have been proved beyond reasonable doubt, it is evidently proved that they can be termed as members of a terrorist group/gang".
The court also held them guilty of conspiring to "raise funds as a terrorist gang to facilitate the commission of a terrorist activity".