A special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court in Ahmedabad on Sunday rejected the city’s crime branch request for police custody of Abdul Rashid Ajmeri, who was arrested on Saturday in connection with the 2002 Akshardham temple terror attack. The court, instead, asked Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) to question Ajmeri in jail for 10 days, if required.
“Since all the accused in the case have been acquitted by the Supreme Court, the special court refused to grant his remand. Instead, the court asked us to interrogate him in jail, if required,” Special Public Prosecutor Sudhir Brahmbhatt said, referring to the Supreme Court’s May 2014 order acquitting all the six persons arrested by the DCB in connection with the terror attack.
Ajmeri, 60, was arrested Saturday morning at Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport after he flew in from Riyadh. He was produced before the court of special judge P B Desai at his residence on Sunday by the officials of crime branch, who sought 14 days custody. The police had earlier said Ajmeri could be tried for being an absconder. The judge rejected the DCB’s plea and sent Ajmeri to Sabarmati Central Prison. The judge allowed DCB to question Ajmeri in the prison for 10 days.
Thirty-four people were killed in the 2002 Akshardham temple attack. The DCB named 28 people as accused. Eight of them went on trial, while 20, including Ajmeri, were declared absconders.