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‘Terrorist groups clicking pictures of my house’, Judge who pronounced death sentence to Jaipur serial blast convicts fears threat to his life

The trial in the case began in December 2008. In December 2019, Special Judge Ajay Kumar Sharma awarded the death penalty to Mohammed Saif, Mohammed Sarwar Azmi, Saifur Rehman and Mohammed Salman.

Retired Judge Ajay Kumar Sharma, who had given death sentence to the four terrorists convicted in the 2008 Jaipur serial blast case has written to DGP Bhupendra Singh saying that he fears his life is in danger. Quoting intelligence reports, the retired judge wrote that the terrorist groups to whom those 4 convicts belonged might be seeking to avenge their death. He urged the DGP to extend his security cover fearing threats to his family and him.

“Officials said that my security is being removed. I request you to continue the security cover given to me in the context,” he wrote.

In his letter, Sharma claimed that empty liquor bottles had been hurled at him and since many days, some motorcycle-borne suspects have been seen hovering around his house. “These terrorist groups are quite dangerous and can do anything. They have also been seen clicking pictures of my place,” said the retired Judge.

To make his point, Sharma quoted the case of Judge Neelkanth Ganjoo. Ganjoo was a high court judge in Kashmir who had, in the year 1984, pronounced the death sentence for JKLF founder and dreaded terrorist Maqbool Bhat in the murder of police inspector Amar Chand in 1966. The Judge was later killed by JKLF terrorists on October 2, 1989.

Sharma said these terrorists were related to the ISI and were working with sleeper cells of the organisation. Fearing that he would be penalised for bringing the terrorists to justice, Sharma wrote to the DGP that his only fault was that he had punished the terrorists with death sentences.

The 2008 Jaipur serial blast

On May 13, 2008, a series of nine synchronized bomb blasts had ripped through Rajasthan’s capital city, Jaipur leaving almost 71 people dead and over 250 injured. The ammonium nitrate-based bombs, which went off within a span of 20 minutes, were strapped to bicycles. They were packed with metal splinters or ball bearings to carry out heavy damage in the crowded areas.

Two days after the blasts, Islamic terror organisation Indian Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the attacks. The trial in the case began in December 2008. In December 2019, Special Judge Ajay Kumar Sharma awarded the death penalty to Mohammed Saif (34), Mohammed Sarwar Azmi (36), Saifur Rehman (36) and Mohammed Salman (34), after convicting them under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and the Explosives Act, in eight cases registered by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the police.

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