Delhi: In a decision that caused outrage in India, a Pakistani court on Thursday granted bail to LeT operations commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, a key planner of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
54-year-old Lakhvi and six others had filed bail applications yesterday in the midst of a lawyers strike to condemn the Peshawar school massacre that left more than 140 people, mostly children, dead
The anti-terrorism court in Pakistan gave bail to Lakhvi despite evidence against him in the case which was nearing its end, prosecution today said, disclosing that they will challenge the decision.
"As the trial was near conclusion the Anti-Terrorism Court Islamabad today granted bail to Lakhvi despite evidence against him," prosecution chief Chaudhry Azhar told PTI.
As seven judges of the Mumbai case have been replaced since the start of the trial in 2009, Jutsice Kausar Abbasi Zaidi is the eighth one holding the in camera proceedings at Adiala Jail Rawalpindi due to security concerns.
India was furious at the bail being granted to the 26/11 handler and called it 'unfortunate'.
Following are some facts about the man in the eye of the storm:
- LeT commander Lakhvi is accused of planning and assisting the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks along with Hafiz Saeed which killed 166 people.
- He is said to have been born in Okara district of Punjab, Pakistan and is 54 years old.
- In 2008 the US treasury department froze his assets.
- Nine terrorists involved in 26/11 attack were killed by Indian security forces.
- One attacker who survived, Ajmal Kasab, was hanged after conviction by a trial court. It was confirmed and upheld by India's higher court.
- Pakistan accepted for the first time in 2009 that Mumbai attacks was plotted and planned on its soil.
- Lakhvi is said t have organised training camps to train terrorists to carry out the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
- He is on NIA's most wanted list.
- Some reports have said that Lakhvi carried out military operations in Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and parts of Southeast Asia.
- He was arrested on December 7, 2008 by Pakistani armed forces in a raid on an LeT training camp near Muzafarabad in Pakistani Kashmir.
- He was charged in 2009 November by the anti-terrorism court, along with six other suspects for planning and helping to execute the 26/11 attacks.
- Lakhvi is also alleged to have trained Azam Cheema who is considered the man behind the 2006 Mumbai train bombings which killed more than 200 people.
- Kasab had apparently told investigators that Lakhvi was referred to as 'Zakki Chachu' by them.
- Lakhvi handled the Mumbai attack from a control room was Karachi.
- He was granted bail on December 18, 2014 by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court against payment of surety bonds worth Rs. 5,00,000.
With Agency inputs