12 found guilty in 2006 Aurangabad arms haul

Mumbai, July 28 (IANS) A Special MCOCA Court on Thursday found 12 accused guilty, including Lashkar-e-Taiba operative and 26/11 plotter Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal in the sensational 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.

Special MCOCA Judge S.L. Anekar also upheld the prosecution’s plea that the case was part of a larger post-2002 Gujarat communal riots conspiracy to eliminate then Chief Minister (now Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia.

There were a total of 22 accused in the case who had procured a huge amount of explosives, arms and ammunition, and allegedly planned to target the political leaders for their role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The trial, which had resumed in 2013 after the arrest of Abu Jundal, had concluded in March this year before the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act Special Court here.

The Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) chased a speeding Tata Indica and a Tata Sumo on the Chandwad-Manmad highway near Aurangabad.

They apprehended three suspects from the Tata Sumo — Mohammed Aamir Shakil Ahmed, Juber Sayed Anwar and Abdulazeem Abduljameel Shaikh — while the Tata Indica, allegedly driven by Abu Jundal, manged to give the slip.

The ATS later recovered 30 kg RDX, 10 AK-47 army assault rifles, 3,200 rounds of ammunition and more from them which were reportedly intended for carrying out terror strikes in the country.

Jundal dumped the vehicle with another associate in Malegaon in Nashik district and fled to Bangladesh and then to Pakistan on a forged passport.

A native of Beed in Maharashtra, he was arrested after his deportation from Saudi Arabia in June 2012.

He then revealed to the ATS another hideout from where they recovered 13 kg RDX, 1,200 cartridges, 50 hand grenades and 22 magazine rounds.

A total of 22 accused were arrested and in 2013 the ATS filed its chargesheet against all the accused, including Jundal, for conspiring in various terror cases since 2006.

Earlier, the trial had been stayed by the Supreme Court after one of the accused had challenged the constitutional validity of certain provisions in the MCOCA invoked on the accused but it was (the stay) lifted in 2009.

–IANS

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