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Akshardham attack: POTA court acquits remaining 2 accused

Shaukatullah Ghori (left) and Majid Patel in Ahmedabad on Friday. (Express Photo: Javed Raja) Shaukatullah Ghori (left) and Majid Patel in Ahmedabad on Friday.                                (Express Photo: Javed Raja)
By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Posted: June 7, 2014 4:56 am

A special Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) court on Friday acquitted the remaining two accused in the Akshardham temple terror attack case, three weeks after the Supreme Court let off six accused for want of evidence. The two accused were in the jail for the past five years since their arrest.

Special POTA court Judge Geeta Gopi ordered acquittal of Mohammad Umarji alias Majid Patel and Hafiz Kasuri alias Shaukatullah Ghori, who were arrested by Ahmedabad’s Detection of Crime Branch in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Ghori was serving as a muezzin in a mosque in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who was accused for raising funds and attended meeting in Riyadh and Hyderabad where the alleged conspiracy was hatched for the attack. Ghori is the bother of Farhatullah, an alleged hardcore militant and wanted in other terror related cases including Akshardham.

Umarji, a resident of Bharuch, was chargesheeted for providing funds to the accused conspirators which he allegedly received through hawala racket. Umarji’s brother-in-law, Asif V Patel, said outside the court that the whole case led to a disaster in Umarji’s family. “Relationship broke as people in the community suspected him as a terrorist. The damage has been done. The five years lost in the jail would not come back. However, we don’t have complaints against the police,” Patel said.

A Supreme Court bench on May 16 had acquitted six accused, who had been convicted by the sessions court and the Gujarat High Court in 2010.

SC refused to rely on the evidence produced by the prosecution. During the hearing, the prosecution had referred to the SC judgment and said that it had refused to rely on Bhavnagari’s statement and rejected the conspiracy charge against the accused. On September 24, 2002, terror attack on Askshardham temple in Gandhinagar claimed more than 30 lives.

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