Saturday, Nov 22, 2014

POTA court acquits two remaining accused in Akshardham case

Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad | Posted: June 6, 2014 5:48 pm

A special POTA court in Ahmedabad on Friday acquitted the remaining two accused in the Akshardham temple terror attack case, three weeks after the Supreme Court let off six accused, rejecting the prosecution’s charge of their involvement in the conspiracy.

Special POTA (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) Court judge Geeta Gopi ordered the acquittal of Majid Patel alias Umarji and Shaukatullah Ghori holding they were not involved in the conspiracy behind the suicide attack at the temple in Gandhinagar on September 24, 2002 which had claimed more than 30 lives.

The two were charged with conspiracy by the city crime branch and had been lodged in Sabarmati jail for six years.

Drawing from the Supreme Court verdict, the POTA court too did not accept the testimony of witness Ashfaq Bhavnagri.

Patel, who was accused of managing funds for the attack, was held in 2008 from Bharuch district of Gujarat while co-accused Ghori was arrested from Hyderabad the same year.

Earlier, during the hearing, the prosecution referred to the Supreme Court judgement and said it had refused to rely on Bhavnagari’s statement and rejected the conspiracy charge against the accused.

“The Supreme Court did not believe the contention of the state agency and declined to believe the conspiracy part,” Special Public Prosecutor H M Dhruv had told the POTA court.

Dhruv said the statement of Bhavnagari, which the prosecution had relied upon to make a case against the accused, was not taken as evidence by the apex court.

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