AHMEDABAD, July 26:
One of the main accused of the deadly terror attack on Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar in September 2002, has been nabbed from Anantnag in Kashmir by the Anti-Terror Squad of Gujarat police in a joint operation with the local police, it was revealed today.
Gujarat ATS SP Himanshu Shukla said that Yasin Ghulam Mohammad Bhatt, a resident of Anantnag had played a major role in supply of arms for the deadly attack. He was nabbed on a tip.
Attempts were made to nab him earlier also but he used to escape to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He has been brought here by air and would be interrogated in detail. He can throw light on the important aspects of the conspiracy for the attack.
Bhatt will be handed over to the Crime Branch, the investigating agency, for further inquiry and investigation. Notably, in November last year also the Crime Branch had nabbed yet another accused of the attack, Mohamed Farukh Shaikh (47), who had fled the country after the incident. He had settled in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia since 1994 and was on the run for the past 16 years.
Shaikh had returned to Gujarat to meet family members and on a tip off he was arrested today morning after his flight landed here. He was resident of Juhapura in Ahmedabad and was brother of another accused of the incident Saleem Manekh Shaikh. He along with Abdul Rashid Ajmeri had participated in a meeting in Riyadh for conspiracy of the incident to revenge 2002 Gujarat riots that erupted after the Godhara train burning incident.
In November 2017, around 60-year-old Abdul Rashid Ajmeri, one of the masterminds of the incident was caught by the Crime Branch team of Ahmedabad police from the airport soon after he landed from a Kuwait Airways flight from Gulf countries. He is the brother of one of the former accused of the case who was acquitted by the apex court in 2014.
In the incident that took place in the evening of September 24, 2002 in the temple situated a few meters away from the official CM’s residence in Gandhinagar, a total of 32 people including two terrorists were killed and over 80 injured. The incident was said to be a criminal conspiracy to retaliate against the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.
A special (POTA) court had convicted six of the accused with capital punishment to three of them. The Gujarat High Court had also upheld the judgement but in 2014 the Supreme Court acquitted them. More than 20 of the accused are still at large. (UNI)
AHMEDABAD, July 26: