BANGALORE: Six persons suspected to be part of a Lashkar-e-Taiba terror module were on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment by a local court on the charge of waging a war against the nation.
The second fast track court judge, Mr S G Revankar pronounced the quantum of punishment after convicting them under Section 121 (waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the government of India) and Section 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
On Saturday last, the court had convicted self-styled south Indian commander of LeT Mohammad Raz-ur Rehman, Afsar Pasha, Mehboob Ibrahim Sab Chopdar, Noorulla Khan, Mohammad Irfan and Nazimuddin alias Munna.
Their LeT links came to light during investigation into the 2005 attack on Indian Institute of Science here, in which a retired Professor of Delhi IIT, M C Puri was killed and four others injured when militants opened fire at delegates emerging out of an international conference.
Cases of sedition, terrorism and religious disharmony among others had been filed against the accused.
Giving details about the investigation by a six-member squad, the additional commissioner of police (law and order), Mr Sunil Kumar told reporters that on January 1, 2006, Razur was arrested at Nalagonda in Andhra Pradesh while coming out of a mosque which subsequently led to the arrest of the others.
During questioning, it was found they had played no role in the IISC attack, but had stored explosives for terror attacks.
The police had recovered from them hand grenades, gelatine sticks, fuse wires, explosive powder and tiffin carrier bombs as also jehadi literature and other material written by extremists like Pakistan-based militant leader Masood Azhar.
The police had recovered a diary from Pasha’s residence, in which the suspects had noted their activities and plans, including avenging the Babri Masjid demolition. “The diary played a vital role in ensuring the conviction,” Mr Kumar said.
Razur was in Saudi Arabia before 2000 where he met two other accused “who harboured a soft corner for LeT”. Later they met the others in Chintamani and Kolar in Karnataka.
The accused had decided to wage a war against India and conduct activities leading to civil wars after the demolition of the Babri masjid, Mr Kumar said.
They had also started a trust at Chintamani with the aim of recruiting youths for terrorist activities. “They preached about jihad, how to pray and how to behave as a good Muslim. They told local Muslims not to visit dargahs as these symbolised idol worship which is banned in Islam,” he said.
“They reportedly decided to demolish dargahs to stop Muslims visiting them, thinking that it would look as if Hindus were targeting dargahs. They calculated that such an act would lead to civil war,” Mr Kumar said.
All accused were convicted under IPC sections 120, 121, 121 A (conspiracy to commit offences), Section 3 & 4 of Explosives Substance Act (causing explosion likely to endanger life or property/attempt to cause explosion, or for making or keeping explosives with intent to endanger life or property) and sections 25 and 26 of the Arms Act.
Electric detonators, tin bombs and country made pistols were also seized from the accused.