Three sent to gallows for Lajpat Nagar Blast (Lead)

April 22nd, 2010 - 9:18 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The 1992 Lajpat Nagar bomb blast in south Delhi was a “well planned operation” and a crime against the society, a city court said Thursday, refusing to show leniency to three convicts whom it awarded death penalty.
In his 42-page order, District and Sessions Judge S.P. Garg sent the three Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front terrorists to the gallows and said: “The apparent motive of the convicts was to inflict maximum casualties. It was not mere a desperate act of a small group of persons…convicts took an active part in series of steps taken to pursue the object of the conspiracy.”

Mirza Nissar Hussain alias Naza, Mohammad Naushad and Mohammad Ali Bhatt alias Killey were sentenced to death by Garg who held them guilty for murder ands mayhem. Thirteen people were killed and 39 injured in the blast that took place May 2, 1996, evening in the busy Central Market area of Lajpat Nagar.

Awarding life imprisonment to another convict and jail terms of seven years and four years and two months respectively to two other convicts, the court stated: “The gravity of the crime conceived by the convicts with potential for causing enormous casualties as well as disrupting normal life of the people is something which cannot be described in words.”

The court handed down life imprisonment to Javed Ahmed Khan, the fourth convict held guilty for murder. A fine of Rs.35,000 was also imposed on him.

Farooq Ahmed Khan was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs.5,000 was imposed on him.

Farida Dar, the lone woman convict, was awarded a jail term of four years and two months. A fine of Rs.10,000 was slapped on her. She is already out on bail.

Farida and Farooq were convicted for offences under the Explosive Substance Act and the Arms Act. The offences carry a maximum punishment of seven years.

While pronouncing the sentence, the court observed that the participation of convicts in the blast “was not the result of their helplessness but a well designed action with their free will to make their part of the contribution to the unholy plan and wicked conspiracy. At no stage they pleaded that they acted under force or domination of someone”.

According to the prosecution, Dar and Farooq are likely to walk free soon. “Dar spent four year two months in jail before getting bail and Farooq has already spent 14 years which will be taken into consideration”, said public prosecutor S.K. Das.

On April 8, the court convicted six of the 10 accused and acquitted four in the blast.

While convicting the terrorists, Garg called police investigation defective. “Due to lack of evidence, accused Mirza Ifteqhar Hussain alias Saba, Latif Ahmed Waza, Syed Maqbool Shah and Abdul Gani alias Nikka are aquitted,” he said. The acquitted were in jail since the last 14 years.

Citing more reasons for their acquittal, Garg said that at no stage had police opted to bring them for a test identification parade (TIP), and even the prosecution had failed to justify it.

“The evidence collected by police was also incomplete, thus, the accused are acquitted,” said Garg.

The 10 accused were arrested from different parts of the country. Farooq and Farida were arrested from Kashmir. Naushad, Ifteqhar and Maqbool Shah were arrested from Delhi. Mirza Nissar was arrested from Mussourie, Javed and Abdul Gani were arrested from Ahmedabad, and Mohammad Ali Bhatt and Latif were arrested from Gorakhpur during May-June 1996.

Nine of them hail from Jammu and Kashmir whereas one, Mohammad Naushad, is from Delhi.

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