Red Fort attack: Court discharges LeT militant

New Delhi: An alleged LeT militant, who was sent up for trial separately for allegedly being involved in the 2000 Red Fort attack, has been discharged by a Delhi court for want of evidence linking him to the terror attack.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Jain discharged alleged LeT militant Athruddin alias Athar Ali, holding that there was no evidence to connect him with the offence.

Ali, who is already serving life imprisonment in Lucknow under the provisions of repealed Prevention of Terrorist Act in another case, had been sent up for trial separately by the Delhi Police as he had absconded and had fled to Jeddah.

His trial had been sought also on charges of being a key accomplice to Mohammed Arif, alias Ashfaq, who had been awarded death sentence by a trial court in November 2005 for his role in the Red Fort attack case.

For want of linking evidence, ASJ Jain, absolved Ali of the charges of involvement in the 2000 Red Fort attack case at the stage of framing of charges itself.

The court held there was nothing against Athruddin except a disclosure statement to the police which is not admissible as evidence.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police had alleged Athruddin was a member of LeT and had remained in touch with Arif.

Athruddin had been accused by the police of waging war against the country, besides committing offences of murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

Athruddin was nabbed in 2001 after his name surfaced in terror activities. The police had brought Athruddin to Delhi in 2001 but he fled to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and was declared a proclaimed offender.

The agency said Arif had disclosed that Athruddin had met two district commanders of Laskar-e-Toiba and had also attacked a police party in Srinagar.

In 2004, he came back to India and was planning to set up terror base in different parts of the country when he was nabbed by the Lucknow police and was sentenced to life imprisonment by a designated court in 2009.

After his arrest by the Lucknow police, the Delhi police too had put him on trial separately for his alleged role in the Red Fort attack case.

The December 22, 2000 Red Fort attack had seen LeT militants sneaking into the 17th century monument and opening indiscriminate fire on the guards of seventh battalion of Rajputana Rifles, killing three persons, including a civilian.

Arif was the prime accused in the case and awarded capital punishment on October31, 2005.

His death sentence was subsequently confirmed by the Delhi High Court in September 2007 and by the Supreme Court in August 2011.