A Udhampur district and sessions court judge awarded life imprisonment to a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Abdul Majeed on Thursday, for executing a car bomb explosion that killed one civilian and injured six. Majid carried out the blast along with another LeT terrorist Ghulam Sarwar on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway at Birma Pul on the outskirts of Udhampur town in May 2010.
Majeed was held guilty by the court last week, while Sarwar is still absconding. The duo had made an attempt on the life of a top Army officer, Major General D S Pathania who, escaped unhurt as his cavalcade had already passed from there.
Before announcing the verdict, the judge drew a balance sheet of aggravating and mitigating factors in the case. “The aggravating factors are that the crime was committed in a pre-planned manner,’’ he pointed out and added that “the mitigating factors are that the convict Abdul Majeed is not involved in any other criminal case and is 63 years old’’. However, the judge observed that the case “certainly does not fall within the category of rarest of the rare case’’.
The judge pronounced the sentences under different provisions. He awarded life imprisonment to Majeed and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on him for killing one civilian in the explosion. An additional three-month imprisonment will be imposed on him if he fails to pay the fine.
For conspiring to carry out the car bomb explosion that resulted into the death of a civilian and injuries of six, besides damage to public property, he was again awarded life sentence and a fine of Rs 2,000 or imprisonment for a week. Also for carrying out terror activity, he was again awarded life sentence and a fine of Rs 50,000 and another 10 years and a fine of Rs 10,000 for terror conspiracy under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. In case of non-payment of fine, he will have to undergo imprisonment for six months and two months respectively, the judge added.
Also awarding him sentences, ranging from three years to 10 years, on charges of damaging public property, causing scare and making an attempt on the lives of civilians, the judge held that all these sentences shall run concurrently.
Asking his office to send the file to Registrar Judicial for placing it before state High Court for confirmation of the sentences, the judge also told the convict that he could file an appeal against the verdict within 14 days beginning Thursday.