Ansari, Ahmed can’t walk free - Rampur blast case remains

May 3rd, 2010 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 3 (IANS) They may have been acquitted in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case, but Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, the two Indians who had been accused along with Pakistani national Ajmal Amir Kasab, have to fight other legal battles before they walk free.
The two suspected operatives - Ansari from Goregaon in Mumbai and Ahmed from Madhubani in Bihar - of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were Monday acquitted by a special court in Mumbai that was hearing the 26/11 terror attack case.

Both Ansari, 36, a member of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), and Ahmed, 25, are also accused of involvement in the Dec 31, 2007 attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camp in Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. The attack killed seven paramilitary troopers.

The two are being tried for the Rampur attack in an Uttar Pradesh court.

Besides, Ahmed is charged with managing LeT hideouts in Nepal and shepherding militants into India across a porous border with Nepal.

Ansari and Ahmed were arrested in February 2008 for the Rampur attack by the Uttar Pradesh police before they were formally charged with giving details of Mumbai to the LeT.

The information helped lone surviving terrorist Ajmal Kasab and nine of his accomplices to launch the 26/11 mayhem killing 166 people in the Nov 26-29, 2008 terror siege.

Brought up in Mumbai’s Goregaon suburb, Ansari had allegedly forwarded hand-drawn maps to the LeT through Ahmed, who was then camping in Kathmandu.

One of the maps, police claimed, was found on Kasab’s slain partner Abu Ismail. But the defence denied the “false and fabricated” charge as the map looked fresh, had no folds and wasn’t crumpled.

Defence lawyers said there was no reason to believe the two had drawn city maps and provided them to the LeT.

The defence made the submission after it was known that Pakistani-American David Headley had made video recordings of the targets, the landing spot and recorded the spots on a GPS device.

During his interrogation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Ansari had accused a white woman of sexual harassment.

His lawyer claimed the FBI woman removed all his clothes and showed him pornographic films.

In 2003, Ansari, who claims to be a devout Muslim, went to Dubai in search of work and was allegedly recruited by the LeT there. He moved to Pakistan and visited Mumbai regularly. In November 2007, according to the prosecution, he came to the city on a Pakistani passport (BM 680934) as Hammad Hassan and surveyed the attack sites.

Ahmed allegedly commanded Lashkar operatives in India. The Bihar boy was disowned by his family after his arrest. Always wearing a smile and casual about what’s happening around, Ahmed was known to be so disciplined and tough that his interrogators once said he would have been a police officer had he not been a terrorist.

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