Mumbai: Twelve people including Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal were on Thursday convicted by the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Court in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.
While holding them guilty, the MCOCA court said the larger conspiracy behind the case was to instil fear as well as attack the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Vishva Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia to avenge the Godhra riots.
Apart from 12 convicted, 8 have been acquitted, one is absconding and one has turned an approver. The court also dropped MCOCA charges in the case, in which 22 people were arreste
The case pertains to the May 8, 2006 operation by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad in which three terror suspects travelling in a car were nabbed on the Chandwad-Manmad highway near Aurangabad.
The ATS had recovered 30 kg RDX, 10 AK-47 army assault rifles, 3,200 rounds of ammunition and other things, which were reportedly intended for carrying out terror strikes in the country.
The Indica, allegedly driven by Jundal, managed to give police the slip. Jundal, who hails from Beed district of Maharashtra, drove to Malegaon and a few days later he escaped to Bangladesh from where he fled to Pakistan.
After Abu Jundal was nabbed and deported to India from Saudi Arabia in 2012, he informed the ATS about another hideout from where they recovered 13 kg RDX, 1200 cartridges, 50 hand grenades, 22 magazine rounds.
The trial, which had resumed in 2013 after Abu Jundal’s arrest, had concluded in March this year.