A special court in Prayagraj sentenced four out five accused in the 2005 Ayodhya terror attack case to life term imprisonment in a verdict that comes after 14 years of legal proceedings, reports India Today.
Pronouncing the verdict, Special judge Dinesh Chandra also imposed a fine of Rs 2.4 lakh on each of the convicts. The five accused were arrested for conspiracy and providing logistic and material help to terrorists. In the proceedings, a total of 63 prosecution witnesses were examined by the court through video conferencing from Naini jail.
Five Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were eliminated by the security forces on 5 July 2005, when they tried to break into the Ram Janmabhoomi complex.
The armed Islamists posed a pilgrims to reach the holy shrine. They drove to the Ram Janmabhoomi site in a jeep and banged it against the security cordon. They also threw a grenade and the resulting blast took the life of a pilgrim guide Ramesh Pandey.
An alert platoon of 35 CRPF soldiers foiled the terrorists’ plan, killing the attackers in an hour-long encounter in which seven paramilitary personnel and two locals were also martyred. All the attackers were neutralised within 100 meters of the site.
On 3 August 2005, four suspects- Asif Iqbal alias Farooque , Mohammed Aziz, Mohammed Nasim and Shaqeel Ahmed- were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the bombing. A fifth man, Irfan Khan, was arrested a few days later.
The court sentenced Irfan, Ashiq Iqbal alias Farooque, Shakeel Ahmed and Mohammad Naseem to life term imprisonment. Mohammad Aziz has been found not guilty.
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