Cricketers' kidnap plot: Prosecution wraps up final arguments

New Delhi: The prosecution today wrapped up final arguments in a Delhi court against six alleged HUJI terrorists, accused of plotting to kidnap cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly in 2002, saying they were in constant touch with their Pakistan-based handlers.

"Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HUJI) militants were in constant touch with their Pakistan-based handlers for hatching the conspiracy to kidnap cricketers," Public prosecutor Anita Hooda submitted before Additional Sessions Judge Pinki.

The prosecutor was advancing arguments to rebut the plea by the accused that they were innocent and framed by Indian agencies.

The accused were in touch with each other through e-mails, she said, while referring to various communications among the accused.

On the other hand, the alleged HUJI militants had said that except confessional statements of some co-accused no other evidence has been produced to prove their complicity.

Three Pakistani militants, Tariq Mohammed, Arshad Khan and Ashfaq Ahmed, had confessed that they conspired to kidnap the cricketers for securing the release of two jailed HUJI men Nasarullah Langrial and Abdul Rahim who were then lodged in jails here, police had said.

Three locals, Mufti Israr, Ghulam Qadir Bhatt and Ghulam Mohd Dar were also part of the plot, they said.

Earlier, the defence lawyer said the alleged e-mails, referred to by the prosecution to prove the conspiracy among the accused, were forged as most of the accused were in custody during that period.

The plot to abduct the cricketers did not succeed as the terrorists could not get the logistic support to execute their design in 2002, police had claimed in the chargesheet.

All the militants, including key accused Jalaluddin who was declared a proclaimed offender during the trial, had also planned to attack the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai and assassinate former President A P J Abdul Kalam during his Patna visit in 2002, the chargesheet said.

They have been booked under tough anti-terror law POTA, IPC and the Explosives Act which provide for maximum sentence of death penalty.

They are charged with hatching conspiracy to wage a war against the state and keeping explosives.