Akshardham Terror Attack Accused Arrested

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Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad crime branch on Saturday arrested Ajmeri Abdul Rashid, a key accused in the sensational Akshardham temple terror attack case.

Ajmeri was in Riyadh and had allegedly been involved in the Akshardham terror attack conspiracy. He came to Ahmedabad in the early hours of Saturday and was immediately arrested by the Ahmedabad crime branch.  His brother Ajmeri Adam was acquitted after his conviction in a lower court was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2014.

On September 24, 2002, gunmen entered the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar, using automatic weapons and hand grenades to kill 32 devotees in a fidayeen attack. Three commandos, including one from NSG, and a constable of the State Reserve Police (SRP) were also killed during the operation.

In May 2014, the Supreme Court acquitted all six convicts in the case, three of whom were awarded death sentence and one life imprisonment by a POTA court, which was later confirmed by the Gujarat high court in 2010.

The apex court had torn into the investigation agency for botching up the probe, stating that the evidence was not enough to uphold conviction of the accused.

Prosecution had claimed that accused had links with banned terrorist organization like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Some were also alleged to be linked to Pakistan intelligence agency ISI.  28 accused, allegedly from Pakistan and Gulf countries, are still absconding.

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