Court awards 10 yrs RI to 5 LeT militants

Firing on Amarnath yatris in 2000
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 21: Principal Sessions Judge Jammu, Jang Bhadur Singh Jamwal today awarded 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fine of Rs 10,000 to five Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, who were involved in the firing on Shri Amarnath Yatris at Hari Singh Higher Secondary School on August 1, 2000.
According to the police case, these five militants namely Imran Qazi, son of Talat Niaz Qazi of Mast Garh, Assad Ullah Malik alias Matoo, son of Mohammad Shafi of Talab Khatika, Shabir Ahmed, son of Shemas Din of Bhaderwah, Faizl Muneer, son of Mohd Sadiq of Talab Khatika and Tariq Hussain, son of Gh Mohd Bhat of Dongia Bathindi in connivance with each other and at the instance of LeT and ISI played important role in the attack on Amarnath Yatris at Hari Singh Higher Secondary School where registration of pilgrims was going on.
Moreover, they had plans to carry out grenade attacks in the busy areas of Jammu city like Raghunath Bazar, City Chowk, Jewel Chowk and Secretariat.
After hearing both the sides, Principal Sessions Judge observed, “though the offence committed by the accused does not invite any lenient view yet as per the relevant law and legal provisions contained in Arms Act the minimum sentence is for seven years and fine”.
“The Court is conscious of the fact that accused have been aiding and were providing the arms and ammunition to the militants but no such evidence could be collected. But it was only collected that accused were in possession of the arms and ammunition only”, the Court said, adding “in case lenient view is taken, these people would be encouraged to repeat the same kind of offence”.
Accordingly, the Court rejected the request of counsel for the accused for taking lenient view against the convicts and awarded 10 years RI and fine of Rs 10,000 to all the five accused.