A Delhi sessions court Friday discharged suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives Tehsin Akhtar and Pakistani national Zia-Ur-Rahman alias Waqas, who had been accused of planning a terror attack in the capital in 2012. The court discharged the two men, who were arrested in 2014, due to lack of connecting evidence in the case.
The court, however, charged five other men, four from Maharashtra and one from Hyderabad, over the ‘criminal conspiracy’.
It has, however, put on trial Asad Khan, Imran Khan, Syed Feroz alias Hamza, Irfan Mustafa Landge, all residents of Maharashtra, and Sayed Maqbool from Hyderabad, for allegedly planning to carry out serial blasts in Delhi in 2012. These five men are also facing charges of orchestrating the Pune serial blasts in the same year.
Akhtar, the alleged chief of Indian Mujahideen, was arrested on March 25, 2014, from near the Indo-Nepal border in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district.
Waqas, a Pakistani national, was arrested outside Ajmer railway station on March 22, 2014.
Akhtar and Waqas, who were charged with criminal conspiracy under sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, were discharged by the court.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police, which carried out the probe, had said that the IM’s Pune module had planned a terror attack in the capital in 2012.
The investigating officials had alleged that Akhtar, during questioning, had told the agency that IM operative Riyaz Bhatkal’s e-mail communications had mentioned such a terror attack in Delhi. According to the Special Cell, Riyaz Bhatkal had told Akhtar that the ‘Pune group’ would help him carry out serial blasts in the capital.
Akhtar reached Delhi in September 2012, after Riyaz Bhatkal directed him to conduct a reconnaissance of “vital installations and crowded places” in Delhi, the Special Cell said in its chargesheet.
Police claimed that Waqas, during questioning, said Riyaz Bhatkal had decided to target Delhi after the Pune serial blasts.
According to the chargesheet, Waqas initially lived in Laxmi Nagar area of East Delhi but, on the directions of Riyaz, he left for Mangalore to join Assadullah Akhtar, another suspected IM operative.
The court will begin recording of evidence against the five accused from March 28.