New Delhi: Six HuJI militants, including
three Pakistanis, were day held guilty by a Delhi court for
conspiring to kidnap cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav
Ganguly in 2002 to secure release of two jailed terrorists.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Pinki pronounced the
verdict in the case in which the convicts were also accused of
plotting to assassinate former President A P J Abdul Kalam
during his visit to Patna in 2002.
Delhi police had also charged them with conspiring to
attack the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai.
The three Pakistan-based militants, Tariq Mohammed,
Arshad Khan and Ashfaq Ahmed and two Indians -- Mufti Israr
and Ghulam Qadir Bhatt -- were held guilty under the stringent
anti-terror law POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act), which has
Sixth accused Ghulam Mohd Dar, who remained on bail,
was taken into custody with the pronouncement of the verdict.
Immediately after the judgment, Dar`s son Irfan, who
was present outside the courtroom, broke down.
The court fixed January seven as the date for hearing
the arguments on quantum of sentence.
The accused faced trial for offences of collecting
arms with the intention to wage war against the government and
conspiring to commit certain offences against the state.
Besides POTA, the accused were charged under the Arms
Act and the three Pakistanis were also tried under the
Foreigners Act for tresspassing into India.
Initially, the police had arrested ten HUJI militants
including six Pakistanis in the case.
Out of them, three Pakistanis -- Mohd Amran, Abdul
Majeed and Mohd Ashraf -- had pleaded guilty in 2003 and were
awarded eight years jail term for their varying roles, besides
Jalaluddin, who was termed as the mastermind, managed
to flee from the custody of police during the probe and was
later declared as proclaimed offender by the court.
The prosecution had relied upon e-mail exchanges of
the accused with their Pakistan-based handlers to drive home
Defence lawyer M S Khan had rebutted the claim saying
the alleged e-mails were forged as most of the accused were in
custody during that period.
The militants wanted to secure release of HuJI men
Nasarullah Langrial and Abdul Rahim who were then lodged in
jails here, prosecutor Anita Hooda had said.