Key accused in Pandya murder case re-arrested



Ahmedabad: Asgar Ali, the prime accused in the murder of former Gujarat minister Haren Pandya, was re-arrested after his release from Sabarmati Jail in connection with two other cases pending against him.

Ali was released yesterday from Sabarmati Jail here after undergoing imprisonment for eight years and was immediately taken into custody by Andhra Pradesh Police in connection with two cases pending against him, defence counsel Chandrashekhar Gupta told a news agency.

One of the two cases pending against Ali in Hyderabad is under the Explosive Substance Act and another for aiding a prisoner to escape from jail, Gupta said.

Ali, who was sentenced for life till the last breath by a trial court in connection with Pandya's murder, was acquitted of the murder charges by the Gujarat High Court on August 29, along with 11 other accused in the case.

However, the high court upheld the 2007 decision of the trial court to convict Ali and 11 others for criminal conspiracy and terrorism under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).

A division bench of justices DH Waghela and JC Upadhyaya, while pronouncing the acquittal, had slammed CBI for its "botched up" and "blinkered" investigations in the Pandya murder case.

According to CBI's contention, Pandya was murdered to avenge the 2002 communal riots.

The former Minister of State for Home, was shot dead on March 26, 2003, near Law Garden area of the city while taking a morning walk.

PTI