Abu Jundal, the key plotter of November 26, 2008 attacks in Mumbai, was convicted on Thurday by a special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. The court convicted 11 others with him.
Eight people were acquitted, and the court separated the trial of two accused. After a ten-year-long wait, the case concluded as Special MCOCA Judge Shrikant Anekar delivered the verdict following the final arguments.
The court also dropped MCOCA charges in the case, in which 22 people, including Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, were arrested.
The court accepted prosecution’s case that the aim of the convicted accused was to create terror in the minds of people and to eliminate public leaders like then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia.
A Maharashtra ATS team chased cars on Chandwad-Manmad Highway near Aurangabad on May 8, 2006 and arrested three terror suspects and seized 6 AK 47 rifkes, 3200 live cartridges, 43 kg of RDX and 50 hand grenades from Khultabad, Yeola and Malegaon area.
Jundal managed to give police the slip and drove to Malegaon and a few days later he escaped to Bangladesh from where he fled to Pakistan, according to the state police. He was deported to India from Saudi Arabia in 2012. Later, charges were framed against the arrested accused in August 2013.
During the trial, the prosecution examined 100 witnesses while defence lawyers examined 16. The trial was stayed by the Supreme Court for a while after one of the accused challenged constitutional validity of certain provisions of MCOCA. The stay was vacated in 2009.
In August last year, the Bombay High Court directed the lower court to expedite the trial. Here is the list of all the 12 convicted on Thursday: