M A I N   N E W S

Delhi blasts: Death for 3
Rashi Agarwal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 22
A Delhi court today awarded death penalty to three of the six terrorists of the Jammu Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF) convicted for Lajpat Nagar blasts in 1996. Thirteen persons were killed in the incident, while 38 were injured.

One convict was awarded life imprisonment by District and Sessions Judge SP Garg while two others, including a woman, who were convicted for milder charges, were set free as the court said they had already served required period of imprisonment during the trial.

Terming the crime as the “rarest of the rare”, the court awarded death penalty to Mohd Naushad, Mohd Ali Bhatt and Mirza Nissar Hussain and observed “it is certain that the convicts do not deserve to be dealt with a lenient view as the offence committed by the convicts was indeed an offence against the society… the act was most dastardly to the superlative degree. The case comes in the category of rarest of rare acts”. Their death sentence would be subject to confirmation by the high court. The judge also mentioned the failure of the police to arrest six other accused, including underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his close aide Tiger Memon, both declared POs.

The court also awarded rigorous life imprisonment to convict Javed Ahmed Khan, besides imposing a fine of Rs 30,000. It referred to a Supreme Court judgment that said when crime committed in an organised manner was “gruesome, cold blooded, heinous, atrocious and cruel” where innocent people were attacked and murdered without any provocation, it fell in the category of rarest of rare cases. Those who connived to bring about such a horrendous crime cannot escape the extreme penalty under the law. Two other convicts, Farooq Ahmed Khan and Farida Dar, who were held guilty under milder penal provisions, were set free as the court said the imprisonment served during the trial was their punishment. The court, however, slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on each of them.

The other accused in the case, Mirza Iftikhar, Latif Ahmed Waza, Syed Maqbool Shah, and Abdul Gani, were acquitted by the court on April 8 due to lack of sufficient evidence. A stolen Maruti car laden with explosives had gone off around 6.30 pm on May 21, 1996, in the crowded Central Market at Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi. The 10 accused were arrested soon after the incident when the police traced the phone calls they made to various media houses claiming responsibility for the terror attack. Four were acquitted.





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