Ayodhya attack case
PRAYAGRAJ, June 18:
A special court here on Tuesday handed down life imprisonment to four of the five convicts in the on July 5, 2005, Ayodhya terror attack case in which terrorists had stormed into the disputed structure and opened fire.
Mohammad Aziz have been acquitted from all charges. Special Judge (SC/ST) Dinesh Chand also imposed fine of Rs 20,000 each on the four.
Police had arrested five people on various charges, including hatching conspiracy and providing logistic and material help to terrorists, who were gunned down at the site
Five Jaish-e-Mohammad ultras and two local residents (Ramesh Panda and Shanti Devi) were killed, while seven Central Reserve Police Force jawans were injured in the attack . The UP police had arrested five people, Irfan, Ashiq Iqbal alias Farooque, Shakeel Ahmed, Mohammad
Naseem and Mohammad Aziz in the case. They are lodged at Naini jail in Allahabad. Dr Irfan hails from UP’s Saharanpur district while others from Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir.
A total of 64 prosecution witnesses were examined in 371 hearings by the court during the 14-year- long trial through video conferencing from Naini jail where the five convicts are lodged.
On August 3, 2005, Asif Iqbal, Mohammed Aziz, Mohammed Nasim and Shaqeel Ahmed were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the attack. The fifth, Irfan Khan, was arrested a few days later.
As per the prosecution, on July 5, 2005, the heavily guarded Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid complex was attacked by armed terrorists. Security personnel foiled the assault and killed the assailants after an hour-long-encounter.
The terrorists were believed to have entered India through Nepal. They posed as pilgrims on their way to Ayodhya, and boarded a Tata Sumo at Akbarpur near the Kichaucha village in Faizabad.
At Faizabad, they abandoned the Sumo and hired a jeep driven by one Rehan Alam Ansari. According to a statement by the driver, the terrorists visited the Ram temple at Ayodhya in the morning of July 5, 2005, and prayed, possibly to reinforce the impression that they were indeed pilgrims. The terrorists then drove the jeep into the Ram Janmabhoomi site, and forced the driver out of the vehicle, banging the jeep against the security cordon.
They hurled grenades from 50 metres away to breach the cordon fence. Ramesh Pandey, a pilgrim guide near the site, died on the spot in the blast.
Firing indiscriminately, the five terrorists entered the Mata Sita Rasoi. A platoon of 35 CRPF soldiers killed all five of the terrorists in a gunfight that lasted for over an hour. Three CRPF soldiers also received serious injuries. All the terrorists died within 100 meters of the site.
The investigating team tracked the phone calls made from the cell phones carried by the terrorists using International Mobile Equipment Identity. Police recovered a RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher, five Type 56 assault rifles, five M1911 pistols, several M67 grenades and some jihadi documents from the slain assailants. (UNI)