Ahmedabad Crime Branch arrests another accused of the 2002 Akshardham temple attack

Gujrat police had previously arrested six people in connection with the attack but they were acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2014.

On Monday evening, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch finally apprehended Mohammad Farooq Shaikh from the Ahmedabad Airport. Mohammad Farooq was one of the accused in planning and plotting the attacks on Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar in 2002.

According to the news reports, Farooq was absconding since last 16 years. He was reportedly staying in Dubai in this period and had come to Ahmedabad to meet his relatives.

On September 24, 2002, two terrorists allegedly belonging to the Pakistan based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) had attacked the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar. About 30 people lost their lives and 80 were injured in the attack. Ajmeri Abdul Rashid, a key accused in the case was arrested by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch from the city airport as he was returning from Riyadh in 2017.

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The POTA court had convicted all six people previously arrested by the Gujrat police, sentenced three to death and sentenced another one to life imprisonment. The Gujarat High Court maintained this judgment of the lower court, but in May 2014 the Supreme Court had acquitted all the accused. Reprimanding the investigating agency for negligence of the case, the apex court had said that there is not enough evidence to convict the accused.

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