An Algerian tourist who was allegedly found carrying a live bullet in his baggage while boarding a Delhi-bound flight at the Khajuraho airport on May 11 has been awarded one-year rigorous imprisonment by a court after a quick trial that lasted just 11 days.
Algerian embassy officials were also present during the trial that took place in the court of judicial magistrate (first class) in Chhatarpur,the district in which the temple town of Khajuraho falls.
During the trial,the prosecution underlined 32-year-old Nehar Redouanes Algerian nationality to argue that he could be testing the security standards at the Khajuraho airport for a possible terror strike in future. The prosecution also pressed for a quick trial and pleaded against granting bail to a foreigner,arguing that if he jumped bail,it would be difficult to get him back to India to face the trial.
Countering the prosecution theory that Nehar had picked up the bullet in a street in Jaipur from where he visited Varanasi before landing in Khajuraho,defence lawyer Pawan Mishra argued that the bullet made its way to the Algerians luggage after he had a fight with CISF officials who spoke to him loudly since he had reported late for boarding and could not understand their instructions.
Public prosecutor Shrikesh Yadav,however,argued that possessing ammunition was a criminal act and even children can identity a bullet. He said the possibility of the Algerian carrying out a dry run for a future attack could not be ruled out.
Mukesh Khamparia,the in-charge of Kotwali Police Station in Khajuraho,where the case was first lodged,said officials from the Intelligence Bureau and other agencies who had questioned Naher were of the view that he did not seem to have been involved in any criminal activity.
Days after being sentenced by the magistrates court on May 22,Naher was today granted bail by Chhatarpur sessions court,where he had filed an appeal. His lawyer said he was to be released from Chhatarpur jail late in the evening.
Naher is a reputed musician back home. He has been crying a lot and has lost more than seven kgs since his arrest, he said.